Police launch criminal probe into ‘suspicious’ credit card activity at Providence Water

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPR) – Providence police detectives have launched a criminal investigation into credit card activity at the Providence Water Supply Board, according to Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare and a spokesperson for the agency.

The probe comes following the August resignation of a longtime employee after Providence Water officials found what they called “suspicious activity” on an agency credit card. The agency didn’t contact the police until Eyewitness News reported that the employee had resigned.

“On Friday, September 21st we were informed by the Providence Police Department of the start of a criminal investigation into suspicious activity detected on a Providence Water credit card,” Chris Hunter, a spokesperson for Providence Water, said in an email.

Eyewitness News requested copies of all credit card transactions at the agency, but Hunter said a provision in state law exempts the agency from providing the information while a criminal probe is underway.

Pare, who had previously confirmed police were reviewing the case, also confirmed police are now investigating the case.

The former employee, Rebecca Lourenco, was a purchasing supervisor at Providence Water until she resigned on Aug. 2. She had previously been placed on leave after an agency audit turned up questionable credit card transactions. She had worked for the city since 1997.

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Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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