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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Man Admits Defrauding Fema After Massachusetts Tornado In 2011


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ROBBIE ROSSI, 42, formerly of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of mail fraud arising from a scheme to fraudulently obtain disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to court documents and statements made in court, a severe storm and tornado outbreak struck central Massachusetts on June 1, 2011.  After a Presidential Declaration authorized FEMA to provide disaster relief funds to local residents, ROSSI obtained more than $12,000 in disaster relief benefits by falsely representing that he lived at a residence on New Bridge Street in West Springfield, Mass., that had been damaged by the storm.  As part of the scheme, ROSSI provided FEMA with false documentation of rent payments he claimed to have paid in the months following the storm.  Between August 2011 and April 2013, ROSSI received payments at various addresses that he supplied to FEMA, including a residence in Enfield, Conn.

ROSSI is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on September 18, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.  ROSSI also has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $12,718.60.

ROSSI has been detained since his arrest in Las Vegas on January 14, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with the assistance of the Las Vegas office of the U.S. Secret Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Sheldon.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

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Updated March 18, 2015