PROVIDENCE - Notorious embezzler Joseph Mollicone Jr., who help sparked a state banking crisis with his $12 million theft, has managed to pay back just over $4,500 since being released from prison in 2002.
At his current monthly payment of $217, it will take the former bank president 4,606 years to pay the remaining $11,995,500 he owes, the Providence Journal reported.
Superior Court Magistrate Patricia Lynch Harwood, who handles all collection matters in the court, recently increased Mollicone's payment from $75 a month. She said it's clear Mollicone won't ever pay back what he owes.
"No one I know could do it," Harwood said, "but the point remains he has to make payments to the best of his ability."
Mollicone was president of Heritage Loan & Investment Co. in 1990 when examiners discovered millions were missing from the institution. Mollicone fled to Salt Lake City to live under an assumed name. Meanwhile, the bank failed and forced the emergency closure of the 44 other financial institutions insured by Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corp.
Hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders were unable to access their money for up to 18 months, until the state borrowed more than $300 million to reimburse them.
Mollicone surrendered to authorities in 1992 and was convicted of embezzlement the next year. A judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison, $12 million in restitution, and $420,000 in fines.
Mollicone was released on parole in 2002 and began making restitution payments.
He lives in Warwick and works in sales for a small metal-stamping company. He did not return messages left at his work.
Last year, Mollicone, 64, married attorney Katy Hynes, 35, who was an assistant to his lawyer, Robert Mann. Harwood said the marriage would reduce Mollicone's expenses and was one reason she increased his monthly payment to 10 percent of his gross income, currently $217.
Harwood said she and her husband, former House speaker John Harwood, could not access some of their money for a short time during the credit union crisis.
But she said Mollicone is not treated any differently than anyone else who comes before her.
"My job is to make sure restitution is paid to the best of their ability," she said.