New Haven Woman Sentenced to Prison for Lying to Federal Grand Jury about Knowledge of Kidnapping and Murders
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Jean Pierre Njock, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that FRANCESCO PENSIERO, also known as Frank Pensiero, 50, of Stamford, was arrested today on federal criminal complaint charging him with robbing three Connecticut banks in October 2020.
Pensiero appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti in Bridgeport and was ordered detained.
As alleged in the complaint, on October 13, 2020, Pensiero and an associate robbed the Chase Bank located at 2855 Main Street in Stratford. During the robbery, Pensiero’s associate displayed a handgun on the teller counter and presented the teller with a note that read “this is a robbery give me all your money.” The teller provided Pensiero’s associate with approximately $1,000 and Pensiero and his associate exited the bank.
It is also alleged that, later on October 13, 2020, Pensiero robbed the People’s United Bank located at 1160 Kings Highway Cutoff in Fairfield. During the robbery, he pulled out a handgun and presented the teller a note that stated “This is a robbery.” The teller provided Pensiero with $5,458 and Pensiero exited the bank.
It is further alleged that, on October 28, 2020, Pensiero and his associate robbed the People’s United Bank located at 95 Main Street in New Canaan. Pensiero displayed a handgun, provided the teller with a note demanding money, verbally threatened to kill the teller and other employees, and ordered the bank employees to lie on the floor. Pensiero and his associate stole $9,130 during the robbery, and fled from the bank in a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. The following day, the car was set on fire on Green Avenue in New Canaan.
The charge of bank robbery carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that a criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Pensiero’s associate was charged with, and convicted of, related state offenses stemming from these robberies.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Stratford, Fairfield and New Canaan Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel E. Cummings and Amanda S. Oakes.