Former Attorney Sentenced for Defrauding Personal Protective Equipment Purchaser
NEW ORLEANS – FRANK LABRUZZO was sentenced on February 6, 2024, for conspiring with co-defendant, Cynthia Caronna, and a United Kingdom resident, for defrauding a business that sought to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.
U.S. District Judge Greg G. Guidry sentenced LABRUZZO to five years’ probation and $1,012,500 in restitution.
Caronna and the UK resident formed a business to sell PPE, and selected LABRUZZO as the business’s escrow agent. LABRUZZO (who was then an attorney employed as an investigator with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office) was presented to would-be buyers of PPE as a trustworthy escrow agent to safeguard the buyer’s purchase funds in an escrow account until the PPE was satisfactorily delivered.
According to court records, the conspirators agreed that LABRUZZO would disburse the would-be buyers’ funds despite their neither receiving the PPE nor consenting to the disbursements. The conspirators also agreed that each would receive portions of the would-be buyers’ funds without their knowledge or consent.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more
information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at
866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chandra Menon of the Public Integrity Unit was in charge of the prosecution.
Shane M. Jones
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
United States Department of Justice