NARRAGANSETT—A local professor and businessman, John K. Dunn, 58, of 365 Boston Neck Road, was arrested on Jan. 28 by Rhode Island State Police on three felony counts of obtaining money under false pretenses. Dunn entered no plea and was released on $10,000 personal recognizance.
On Feb. 2, Dunn, in consultation with university officials, was relieved of his teaching duties and has been placed on an “alternative work assignment.”
“Professor Dunn will be working on projects with the dean of business college,” according to URI spokesman Dave Lavallee. Dunn, a business instructor, has been on the URI faculty since 1981, teaching courses at Providence and Kingston.
The case involves a $359,650 mortgage loan from Crescent Mortgage Company for a home Dunn allegedly never resided in and a private construction loan of $417,000 from Catherine Beckstein, a student, for a home in which Dunn currently resides. The arrest comes after an investigation spurred by a complaint from Alan Scibner, a loan broker from AMX Funding in Westerly, who worked on financing projects with Dunn. The police affidavit states that Dunn had listed then wife (they are now divorced) Sarah Bartlett, as a “lawyer-associate” on a loan application. It is alleged that Dunn received a loan in order to buy a house in Charlestown as well as two other homes, one in North Kingstown and one in Narragansett. The loan was obtained from Catherine Beckstein—a local student who used the interest on the loan to pay for school costs. Beckstein says that Dunn did not comply with the repayment agreements and that she hired a lawyer to look into the matter.
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