PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Former state Sen. Jamie Doyle reported to a federal prison in central Pennsylvania on Wednesday to begin his two-year sentence after pleading guilty in a bank fraud scheme.
Doyle, 47, of Pawtucket, was assigned to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, according to his attorney Jeff Pine. Doyle will likely serve his time at the minimum security camp, rather than the high-security facility that is also on the campus.
The town is roughly a six-hour drive from his home city. Pine said they had been hoping for something closer to home.
"It wasn't our first choice," Pine said.
Doyle pleaded guilty last fall to 31 counts of bank fraud, along with one count each of filing a false tax return and failing to file a tax return in what's called a "check-kiting" scheme. Investigators said Doyle bilked banks out of nearly a half-million dollars.
In court, Doyle admitted to creating "false, fictitious and fraudulently inflated balances” in multiple bank accounts at Alliance Blackstone Federal Credit Union, Bristol County Savings Bank and Santander Bank between 2013 and 2016.
Doyle, who ran two businesses at the time called Doyle Respiratory and Doyle Sleep Solutions, was doing up to 50 transactions a day at the banks, writing checks back and forth despite having insufficient funds. During the delay between when he deposited a check and it was returned for insufficient funds, Doyle would draft a new check from that account to pay for a balance in another.
Prosecutors said he did this tens of thousands of times.
Prior to sentencing, Pine had asked that Doyle be sentenced to home confinement, allowing him to work and pay off the money he stole from the banks. But Chief U.S. District Judge William Smith sentenced Doyle to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Smith also ordered him to repay more than $426,000 in restitution.
Doyle, the son of late Pawtucket Mayor James Doyle, was first elected to the Senate in 2004. He resigned his seat in January 2018, citing alcoholism, and was later replaced in a special election by Sen. Sandra Cano, a fellow Democrat.
Steph Machado and Shaun Towne contributed to this report.