Contact: Major Todd Catlow, Detective Commander Telephone: (401) 444-1005
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent, of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces that on March 26, 2014 members of the State Police Financial Crimes Unit arrested Scott M. Ferguson of 20 Knight Street, Coventry, Rhode Island for the alleged unlawful appropriation of client funds and passing a fraudulent check.
The investigation by the Financial Crimes Unit originated from complaints filed by three separate victims who hired Mr. Ferguson to complete various construction projects at their home or business. All three victims reported that prior to the start of the construction project they made a substantial payment to Mr. Ferguson to be used to purchase materials for the job. After making the payments, Mr. Ferguson did not return to complete the projects.
The investigation confirmed that Mr. Ferguson initially received over $90,000 in funds from the three victims. A review of Mr. Ferguson's bank records obtained through a court-authorized search warrant revealed that he used these funds for his own personal use to include numerous ATM cash withdrawals, point of sale purchases at businesses unrelated to construction and payments on several personal debts.
Scott Ferguson was processed at State Police Headquarters and arraigned on three (3) counts of Unlawful Appropriation Over $1,000 and one (1) count of Fraudulent Checks over $1,500 before Justice of the Peace John McCaffrey. He was released on $10,000 personal recognizance.
A person convicted of Unlawful Appropriation Over $1,000 is subject to fines of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or three (3) times the value of the money or property thus appropriated, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than twenty (20) years, or both.