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Press Release

Westport Resident Charged with Misappropriating $477K U.S. Treasury Check

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

United States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery, Inspector in Charge Ketty Larco-Ward of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division, Acting Inspector General Heather M. Hill of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging NEIL A. LOTT, 50, of Westport, with wire fraud related to a misappropriation scheme.

As alleged in the indictment and statements made in court, from 2017 until August 2021, Lott was a 51 percent owner of Pacific Atlantic Handling Services, LLC (“PAH”), a baggage handling company based at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  In August 2021, Lott was terminated from PAH for cause.  However, in November 2021, Lott opened a business bank account in the name of PAH without PAH’s knowledge or authorization.  On November 30, 2021, Lott deposited into this account a U.S. Treasury check in the amount of $477,167, paid to the order of PAH, for an Employee Retention Tax Credit.

The indictment was returned on January 3, 2024, and Lott was arrested on January 4.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti in Bridgeport and was released on a $350,000 bond.

If convicted of wire fraud, Lott faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and the Westport Police Department, with assistance from the Port Authority Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Cherry.

Updated January 8, 2024

Financial Fraud