Woman Admits Making False Statements to Receive Emergency Witness Assistance Program Funds
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LACEY BLAND, 35, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to making a false statement to law enforcement.
According to court documents and statements made in court, BLAND was a potential witness in a federal matter. After BLAND reported concerns about her safety, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought and obtained authorization to provide Emergency Witness Assistance Program (EWAP) funds for her to change her residence. BLAND subsequently told an employee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that she had found a new residence and that a rental check in the amount of $3,600 should to made payable to a person she stated was the landlord’s wife. BLAND also requested $399 in cash for payment to the movers.
An investigation revealed that the “landlord’s wife” was, in fact, an associate of BLAND’s who was unrelated to the landlord or premises to which BLAND stated she was moving. BLAND never received EWAP funds.
The charge of making a false statement to law enforcement carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. BLAND is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford on September 17, 2015.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony E. Kaplan.