Former West Haven City Employee Sentenced to 13 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing COVID-19 Relief Funds
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, announced that UMBERTO PIGNATARO, 46, of Bridgeport, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to theft of mail by a postal employee.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between December 2020 and May 2021, Pignataro, while employed as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Norwalk, stole hundreds of pieces of mail, including packages and greeting cards that contained cash, gift cards and other items of value. During the investigation, video surveillance captured Pignataro rifling through, destroying and pocketing pieces of mail while servicing his mail route. When confronted by investigators in May 2021, Pignataro admitted stealing mail, and also admitted that he possessed a firearm and used cocaine at work. He was then placed on unpaid leave.
At sentencing, which is scheduled for November 17, Pignataro faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Pignataro is released pending sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine E. Boyles and Michael S. McGarry.
U.S. Attorney Avery encouraged individuals who believe they are a victim of theft related to this case to file a complaint by calling 888-USPS-OIG, or by visiting www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint.