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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 17, 2014

Man Sentenced To 18 Months In Federal Prison For Defrauding Fema After Massachusetts Tornado In 2011


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Gregory K. Null, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, announced that ROBBIE ROSSI, 42, formerly of Massachusetts and Nevada, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for fraudulently obtaining 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 was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,718.60.

ROSSI has been detained since his arrest on January 14, 2014.  On June 24, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.

This matter was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with the assistance of the U.S. Secret Service, Las Vegas Field Office.  The case was 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