06/28/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/28/2019 14:08
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Westmoreland County has been sentenced in federal court to one-and-one-half years' (18 months') incarceration and five years of supervised release on her conviction of bank fraud and mail fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Nicolette Gizzi, age 46, of North Huntingdon, PA.
According to information presented to the court, from December 2009 through approximately June 2016, Gizzi, who was employed as the Financial Manager for Steel Valley Authority, embezzled by issuing checks to herself and her credit card company, without authorization, and then forging the required signatures. The checks were drawn on Steel Valley Authority's business bank account. Steel Valley Authority is funded primarily by federal grants. Additionally, Gizzi, who has a prior federal fraud conviction in South Carolina, defrauded the United States Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina as it attempted to collect restitution for her previous victim.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Bissoon imposed an obstruction of justice sentencing enhancement based on false statements Gizzi made to the United States Probation Office during the course of a Presentence Interview.
U.S. Attorney Brady said, 'Nicolette Guzzi perpetrated her fraud scheme on an economic development organization that is primarily funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Labor. An important part of our work is ensuring that public monies are used for their intended purposes, as we have demonstrated through this prosecution.'
'Nicolette Gizzi devised a scheme to embezzle over $82,000 in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds from her employer at the expense of job seekers who were eligible for those resources. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Training Administration to protect the integrity of services designed to strengthen and improve America's workforce,' said Richard Deer, Special Agent-in-Charge, Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Brady commended 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 for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Gizzi.