PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — The founder of a nonprofit sports institute once located at the University of Rhode Island used more than $1 million of the organization's money for unapproved compensation and personal expenses, according to a criminal indictment unsealed Friday.
Daniel E. Doyle, Jr. is charged with 18 counts of embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, forgery and filing false documents. Rhode Island state police and the office of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin launched an investigation in February 2012 after an audit found the Institute for International Sport couldn't account for how it spent most of a $575,000 legislative grant. The state gave the institute more than $7.3 million between 1988 and 2011.
Doyle, a resident of West Hartford, Connecticut, pleaded not guilty Friday during an initial appearance in District Court in Providence after turning himself in.
"We dispute the allegations," said Peter DiBiase, one of Doyle's lawyers.
Some of the money allegedly was paid to Oberlin College, where Doyle's daughter was a student, as well as Doyle's alma mater, Bates College, according to authorities.
The 64-year-old is also accused of using unauthorized signatures on the institute's annual reports filed with the Rhode Island secretary of state's office between 2005 and 2009, and using false pretenses to obtain money from the Hassenfeld Foundation — run by philanthropist and former Hasbro Inc. CEO Alan Hassenfeld — that was supposed to be designated for the construction of an institute building on URI's campus.
The state audit found the organization could not account for how it spent most of the 2007 legislative grant awarded to construct the building. The building, which stands unfinished, was intended to house leadership programs and serve as a residence for interns.
URI spokeswoman Linda Acciardo said the school had no comment on the indictment.
The institute was established in 1986 and is best known for its World Scholar-Athlete Games, which attracts young athletes and artists from around the world to participate. It has featured prominent speakers including former President Bill Clinton and Olympic skier Bode Miller. The games were held on URI's campus until last year when they moved to the University of Hartford in Connecticut, along with a new event called the World Youth Peace Summit.
In court Friday, the judge set a surety bail of $100,000, meaning that Doyle would be released if he posts $10,000. He may not travel outside of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and he must turn in his passport by Monday morning.
DiBiase said Doyle had made "many, many loans" to the organization over the years, but declined to elaborate.
"He put a lot of money in when there were cash flow problems," he said.
Hassenfeld, who has said his foundation donated about $1.75 million to the institute, was out of the country Friday and could not be reached for comment. He has said that a signature purported to be his on an institute annual report is a forgery.
Doyle's next court appearance is set for May 17.
WPRI-TV first reported the indictment.