NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. (AP) — A former instructor at the University of Rhode Island is charged with forging his doctorate diploma to get a consulting deal, then lying under oath about his credentials.
State police say Frederick Meli misrepresented himself to get hired by the town of North Smithfield to examine stone mounds on a property scheduled for development.
He was quoted by several news organizations at the time, including by The Associated Press, saying the mounds went back thousands of years and were used by Native Americans.
Police say the 64-year-old Narragansett man also lied about his diploma when the developer sued. An independent archaeologist determined the mounds were likely built for agrarian use.
Meli was arrested Wednesday and released on his own recognizance. He did not return a phone message seeking comment Thursday.