Federal Hill’s Toscan Social Club: A hub for crime and State House insiders, according to RISP


Monday, August 15, 2022

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The Tuscan Social Club on Spruce Street on Federal Hill. PHOTO: Go Local

GoLocal has secured hundreds of pages of Rhode Island State Police surveillance records. The surveillance centered on Dino Guilmette — these recordings tracked his comings and goings at various locations, including one of Federal Hill’s former social clubs in Providence — the Toscan Social Club.

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As previously reported, state police surveillance efforts include court-authorized wiretapping.

The social club has been an illegal gambling site and, in Guilmette’s case, linked to illegal drugs.

State Police surveillance also uncovers the whereabouts of some of the Rhode Island State House’s top players.

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RI State Police photo outside the Toscan Social Club, October 2021. PHOTO: RISP

“Community service for neighborhood children”

The Toscan Social Club, a private club, was incorporated in 1992 for the purpose of “Social Club – community service for neighborhood children”.

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Statutes of the Tuscan Social Club.

And while the social club was supposed to serve neighborhood kids, it has been a known hangout for organized crime, according to multiple state law enforcement sources. The Toscan Social Club is prohibited for law enforcement to socialize.

In 2015, Edward Perrotta, his son John and Gregory Fleury were arrested for their role in running an illegal gambling operation in Tuscany. Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police and the FBI executed three search warrants following what they said was a three-month investigation, initiated by the RISP intelligence unit.

In June of that year, the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office revoked the Tuscan Social Club’s certificate of incorporation. This letter was sent to “Gregory Fleury”.

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In June, the RI Secretary of State’s office revoked the certificate of incorporation.

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Grant Pilkington and Frank Montanaro, former members of House Speaker Nick Mattiello’s staff. PICTURES: social networks

Best Mattiello State House Staff – Montanaro and Pilkington

State police tracked Guilmette for weeks. On Halloween of 2021, state police found Guilmette at the Toscan Social Club. And then others arrived.

According to the State Police Investigative Unit surveillance report from Sunday, October 31, 2021, “At approximately 1:30 p.m., Detective [Amoncio] DaCruz observed the REDACTED Rhode Island passenger registration open as a black Cadillac arrive and park behind Guilmette’s vehicle which turned out to be registered to Grant Pilkington. Members of the intelligence unit know that Pilkington was deputy chief of staff to former Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello.

“Photographs were obtained of Pilkington entering the Toscan Club,” the surveillance report said.

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Pilkington and two other men in the backyard of the Toscan Social Club. PHOTO: RISP

In 2019, GoLocal first reported that Pilkington, as a senior Mattiello staffer, was an officer at a Rhode Island hemp company along with two of State House’s top lobbyists — Matt Jerzyk and Will Farrell. The ownership came to light after two other members of the company were arrested in Ohio by state police. Today, Pilkington works as managing director of the lobbying and communications firm Advocacy Solutions.

At the time of the GoLocal report unveiling the ownership of Jerzyk, Farrell and Pilkington’s businesses, the government’s top reform group questioned the relationship.

“Pilkington’s stake in American Standard Hemp raises many red flags. In June [2019] the House of Representatives passed significant changes to the Hemp Growing Act as part of the state budget,” said John Marion, Executive Director of Common Cause.

“If Mr Pilkington were involved in any way with this legislation, it could very well represent a conflict of interest given his involvement. This raises greater suspicion because the House has inserted into the budget of this year language allowing the General Assembly to veto any regulations issued by the Department of Business Regulations regarding the Hemp Growth Act,” Marion said in 2019.

His biography at the firm states, “Prior to joining Advocacy Solutions, Grant held key advisory positions to past and present Speakers of the Rhode Island House. [Mattiello and Joseph Shekarchi]. As deputy chief of staff, he fostered intergovernmental relations with both houses and the executive branch while supporting constituent issues on behalf of the office of the president. Grant’s experience in the state also included serving as secretary to several committees and commissions.”

The State Police surveillance report also said: ‘Arriving after Pilkington there was a DELETED white BMW passenger record. This vehicle turned out to be registered in the name of Frank Montanaro. Montanaro was recently named executive director of maintenance at the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority. Previously, Montanaro served as executive director of the Joint Legislative Services Committee (JCLS) under former House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

In May 2021, GoLocal reported that Montanaro had been hired at RIPTA as Executive Director of Facilities and Maintenance. His salary is $113,100.97.

Under Mattiello, he earned $167,948.56 according to state records as head of JCLS.

Montanaro has been embroiled in a number of high-profile controversies in his role on Mattiello’s team.

One controversy centered around Montanaro receiving $50,000 in free tuition at a state university.

After much outrage and a state police investigation, he later agreed to return some of those funds and notified Rhode Island College of his intention to return $41,083 of the nearly $50,000 fee. free tuition he received.

In 2019, Montanaro was embroiled in the controversy between Mattiello and the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority. In his role as JCLS president, he pushed for an audit of the Authority after the organization sanctioned a close political ally of Mattiello.

Montanaro served in the RI House of Representatives.

State police cite Pilkington in other surveillance reports.

Neither Montanaro nor Pilkington responded to requests for comment on the RISP’s oversight.

Dino Guilmette – now facing seven crimes – is vice-president of the Toscan Social Club

The criminal information — signed by Assistant Attorney General Joseph McBurney and formally submitted to Providence Superior Court on July 18, 2022 — names Guilmette on ten counts arising from an alleged offense dated November 10, 2021.

Two of the counts were ultimately not charged; one of the remaining counts was a misdemeanor and the other seven were felonies.

The felony charges allege that Guilmette illegally delivered a controlled substance – Lorazepam – in violation of state law; that he conspired to violate the state uniformed controlled substance law by agreeing to deliver a controlled substance (lorazepam); that he “knowingly made a material false statement” to Rent Relief RI in violation of state law; that he conspired to commit an unlawful act in violation of state law; who obtained more than $1,500 in money from Rent Relief RI under false pretences; that he conspired to obtain the money under false pretences; and that he conspired to give false documents to a Rent Relief RI agent in violation of state law.

According to court documents, a pre-array conference is scheduled for October 2022 and a pre-trial conference is scheduled for January 2023.

In 2021, the final year of filing in the Services Division of the Secretary of State’s office listed Guilmette as a vice-resident of the Toscan Social Club.

Monitoring of the RISP continued.

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