Local News
Eyewitness Sports
Call For Action
What's On WPRI
What's On Fox
2 Min Test Drive
Experts Online
Online Store
Station Info

MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  August 18, 2004
Education | House & Home | Money | Pets | Recipes | Relationships | Travel | Weddings
What's Next | More Topics...
Providence con jailed for involvement in Florida cremation fraud
Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version  

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Providence con artist who implicated police officers and an organized crime figure in a 1980 corruption scandal that shook the Providence Police Department has been jailed in Florida for allegedly running fraudulent cremation services.

Robert A. Colannino, 58, was running a cremation service in Daytona Beach, Fla., that was recently shut down after families complained of getting the wrong ashes, The Providence Journal reported Thursday.

About 25 years ago, Colannino was a convicted felon and informant for the Providence Police Department. He accused police officers, including big fundraisers for former Mayor Vincent Cianci Jr., of running a bad-check scheme with him. The officers were acquitted, but Colannino was later convicted in an insurance fraud and auto theft scam in 1989.

Most recently, the con man has been living in Florida under the name Mark Monti. He opened All State Cremation in April 2003.

Now, Colannino is in Volusia County Branch Jail in Florida, as the Volusia County State Attorney�s Office deals with complaints from families who used his cremation service.

The investigation started months ago, when the family of one woman discovered her certification of cremation had been forged.  They realized theyďż˝d been given someone elseďż˝s ashes, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The remains of their loved one were later found in a box on the floor at All-State, the newspaper reported.

Colannino allowed bodies to pile up at a local crematory because he couldn�t afford to have them cremated, according to an affidavit. Some families now want their loved ones� ashes unearthed or pulled from internment, so they can be sure the right ashes are inside.

The State Attorneyďż˝s Office filed charges of fraud and passing a worthless check against Colannino in April. He was arrested in May, but failed to show up to face the charges in Volusia County court.  He was caught again earlier this month, but went to a hospital, instead of jail, for complaints of chest pains. He is now being held in jail on $50,000 bail.

Colannino�s old identity and record from Rhode Island were discovered when Florida authorities checked his fingerprints. He told a Florida judge on Monday that he took on the name of Monti because he was in the Federal Witness Protection Program.

He attempted to explain away his extensive criminal record from Rhode Island by saying the charges were made up so he could do �undercover work� against organized crime.

The state prosecutor told the Daytona Beach News-Journal she was skeptical. The judge denied a request for bond reduction.


Local News
Derderians can be held liable for not having workersďż˝ comp
Pond searched for missing canoeists
Rhode Island's economy goes in reverse
Immigration services eliminate need for lines
Institute for sport gets federal grant
All clear given to Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett
Local historians lobby for historic trail that would begin in Newport
Man shot in city apartment dies
Woonsocket hospital breaks ground
National News  more» 
Retiring House Republican calls war in Iraq unjustified
More homes evacuated due to threat of fire in central Washington state
Brand new power plant, built by the U-S, coming on line in Basrah
Report finds high school graduation tests have little tie to college
Alamance deputies win best-dressed award
Man's comic book collection missing
VFW gives medal to 103-year-old veteran of WWI
Fort Wayne airport closed after substance spills from bag
Purse ban rescinded
Judge: Authorities had probable cause to search Neverland ranch
Learn something new!
Scholarships, school search, and WIN $500!
Suffering from allergies? Learn to beat them!
Get the Facts
Free Alzheimer's tips & info by mail!
Car of the Future
Exciting auto advances from the experts.
Get in touch today!
Find friends, family, lost loves, military buddies, or anyone else you wish to reconnect with here.
Send questions and comments about this website to the .
All content © Copyright 2004 WorldNow, WPRI, WNAC and Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.