|Robert F. McNelis|
Robert McNelis, 38, of 13 Alma St., Providence, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in District Court, Providence, on multiple charges, including fraud, conspiracy and falsely reporting a crime, a news release from the Rhode Island State Police said.
The case began with a fraud complaint from a Pawtucket check-cashing service, Xtreme Computers, at 210 Lonsdale Ave.
An investigation by the state police Financial Crimes Unit found that numerous checks were cashed by Marcus Crook in January 2016, drawn on a lawyer trust account held by Robert F. McNelis.
Detectives visited his law office at 986 Hartford Ave., Johnston, where McNelis said the checkbook for his trust account at BankRI had been stolen. He said he had learned of the theft after a check to a chiropractor on behalf of a client was returned for insufficient funds. McNelis said he asked at the bank and found that several checks had been cashed at Xtreme Computers.
Saying he knew of Crook but had no personal or professional relationship with him, and that his contact was “limited at best,” McNelis said he wanted to prosecute.
After another check was cashed, this one on McNelis’ personal account, he told the detectives that his personal checkbook had been stolen.
Losses from the eight checks amounted to $7,705 from Xtreme Computers and $5,138 from McNelis.
Crook was arrested on a warrant in December. Detectives then determined that McNelis had asked Crook to cash the checks.
McNelis was released on his own recognizance. His next court date is May 2.
Full Article & Source:
Johnston lawyer arrested in court on fraud, conspiracy charges