West Haven Woman involved in Scheme to Steal COVID-19 Relief Funds from the City Sentenced to Prison
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MARK PAGANI, 61, of Bolton, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 45 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for fraud and tax evasion offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2013 to at least August 2015, Pagani conspired with another person (“K.S.”), who is now deceased, to defraud a victim investor of more than $1 million. K.S. arranged investment deals with the victim, including the purported acquisition of mortgages on properties. Pagani drafted documents to memorialize certain investment deals, accepted funds from the victim and held the funds in accounts he controlled, and he transferred funds to entities controlled by K.S. and others. By the time the victim investor made a third investment, which was to acquire mortgages on properties in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Middletown, Connecticut, Pagani knew that the first two investments had not occurred, and that the third investment was not legitimate. In association with the third investment, the victim wired more than $1.3 million to an account Pagani controlled. These funds were comingled with other funds, which Pagani sent a portion of to an entity for the benefit of K.S. In order to conceal the fraud and to create the appearance that it was a legitimate investment, Pagani wired false interest payments to the victim.
In addition, for the 2014 through 2017 tax years, Pagani paid for personal and other expenses using his law firm account and underreported his income on his federal tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $181,702. Pagani was previously a practicing attorney with a law office in Wethersfield.
Judge Bryant will issue a restitution order at a later date.
On August 20, 2021, Pagani pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of tax evasion.
This is Pagani’s third federal conviction.
Pagani, who is released on bond, was ordered to report to prison on January 13, 2023.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer R. Laraia and Michael S. McGarry.