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Former State Senator McDonald Found Guilty of Embezzlement, Conspiracy

Jurors found McDonald guilty of using his clients' escrow funds to pay personal expenses, including spending at restaurants, bars and hotels with his mistress.

Former state Sen. Patrick T. McDonald sits in Kent County Court during his trial on Friday. Credit: Providence Journal
Former state Sen. Patrick T. McDonald sits in Kent County Court during his trial on Friday. Credit: Providence Journal
Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced Wednesday that former Rhode Island State Senator Patrick T. McDonald, 49, with a last known address of 56 Meadow Rue Trail, Saunderstown, was found guilty of three counts of embezzlement and one count of conspiracy for stealing approximately of $163,000 from clients during real estate closings.

McDonald represented Narragansett and South Kingstown from 1996 through 2002 before he was defeated by James C. Sheehan in the then-newly reconfigured District 36.

The jury returned the guilty verdict in just two hours following a week-long trial before Superior Court Justice Brian P. Stern. During the course of the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that former Sen. McDonald, a real estate attorney, stole funds from clients he was representing during real estate closings and used them for his own benefit. 

The State proved that McDonald used funds in escrow to pay operating expenses for his law office, house expenses, and dinners and hotel stays for himself and his mistress, employee and co-conspirator Kimberly Gostomski.  

McDonald was remanded to the ACI following the guilty verdict with a bail review scheduled for Jan. 23. 

“Patrick McDonald created an elaborate web of deceit to conceal his crimes and he violated the trust of his clients to pay for his adulterous lifestyle," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "This is a clear case of greed and corruption by someone who people entrusted with their hard-earned money and dreams of home ownership.”

The case was investigated by the Rhode Island State Police, led by Lori Tellier, an investigator with the Financial Crimes Unit. Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the White Collar Crime Unit Ronald R. Gendron prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General. 

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