Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Former Head Of URI School Of Education Sentenced For Two Embezzlement Schemes That Netted $2.2 Million
Robert D. Felner, 59, formerly of Jamestown, Rhode Island and the former director of the University of Rhode Island’s School of Education, was sentenced yesterday to 63 months in federal prison for embezzling a total of about $2.2 million from URI and the University of Louisville where he had been an administrator. According to prosecutors, Felner, together with a co-conspirator and former student, Thomas Schroeder of Port Byron, Illinois, engaged in a scheme to embezzle $1.64 million from URI's School of Education which he founded, plus another $560,000 from the University of Louisville where he later became a dean. Felner was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $510,000 to the University of Louisville, $1.64 million to URI and $88,750 to the Rock Island County Council on Addiction in Illinois that authorities say the defendants also defrauded. Felner was the director of the URI School of Education from 1996 to 2003 and then became a dean at the University of Louisville. Prosecutors alleged that from 2001 to 2008, Felner and Schroeder funnelled funds into a dummy nonprofit organization called the National Center on Public Education and Prevention. They were indicted in October 2008 with 10 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and income tax evasion. Felner plead guilty this past January. The two were also charged with tax evasion for the years 2002 - 2007.