Two North Providence police officers indicted for embezzlement and tax fraud
An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Statewide Grand Jury has returned indictments charging one current and one former member of the North Providence Police Department with multiple felony counts, including embezzlement and filing false tax returns. The charges stem from an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and the United States Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General and Office of Labor Management Standards, into alleged embezzlement of funds of North Providence Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
On January 30, 2023, the Statewide Grand Jury returned a secret indictment charging former Lieutenant Dennis Stone with three counts of embezzlement over one hundred dollars and six counts of filing a false tax return. The Statewide Grand Jury also returned a secret indictment charging Detective Christopher Petteruti with two counts of embezzlement over one hundred dollars.
At a hearing on January 31, 2023, the secret indictments were unsealed, and the defendants were arraigned in Providence County Superior Court.
As alleged in the indictments, the defendants, as members of the executive board of the North Providence Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, used their access to union bank accounts to embezzle funds for personal expenses. It is alleged that as president of the local union, former Lt. Stone embezzled funds for personal use, including meals at a restaurant, online study materials for promotional purposes within the police department, and various retail purchases. It is also alleged that former Lt. Stone filed false tax returns for the 2015 through 2020 tax years, by failing to disclose and pay taxes on income received as a part-time waiter at Twin Oaks restaurant in Cranston.
It is further alleged that as treasurer of the local union, Det. Petteruti embezzled funds for personal use, by withdrawing that money in cash from ATMs, as well as spending union funds to gamble at Foxwoods casino.
The defendants are scheduled for a pretrial conference on April 12, 2023, in Providence County Superior Court.