Former Steel Valley Authority Financial Manager Indicted on Fraud Charges
PITTSBURGH – A Westmoreland County resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of bank fraud and mail fraud, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
The five-count indictment, returned on June 27, named Nicolette Gizzi, age 44, of North Huntingdon, PA as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, from December 2009 through approximately June 2016, Gizzi, who was employed as the Financial Manager for Steel Valley Authority, issued checks to herself and her credit card company, without authorization, and forged the required signatures. The checks were drawn on Steel Valley Authority’s PNC Bank business account. Steel Valley Authority is funded primarily by federal grants.
Also according to the indictment, Gizzi, who had a previous federal conviction in South Carolina, fraudulently completed and mailed an Answer to a Writ of Garnishment by forging a signature of a former employee, forging a notary public signature and understating her income. The Writ of Garnishment was issued in an attempt to collect restitution on the prior conviction.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both for each count of bank fraud and 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both for the single count of mail fraud. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.