Former mayor accused of embezzling nearly $1 million
Middletown, CT (WFSB) — The former mayor of Middletown has been arrested, accused of embezzling nearly $1 million from a family member and former employer.
On Tuesday, Stephen Gionfriddo, 67, was charged with wire fraud in connection to an alleged scheme where he embezzled approximately $490,000 from his former employer and approximately $457,000 from a family member.
He appeared in court on Tuesday and was released on a $200,000 bond.
Gionfriddo was convicted of federal wire fraud and mail fraud offenses in 2006 for embezzling more than $633,000 from clients while acting as their attorney.
The recent arrest stems from a complaint from around December 2013 through September 2017 while Gionfriddo was working as a paralegal at a law firm.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the complaint alleges “he made bogus requisitions for approximately $377,895.67 in checks purportedly to pay client expenses. Gionfriddo converted these funds for his personal use. Gionfriddo also forged the signature of one of the firm’s partners in order to fraudulently convert a certificate of deposit (CD) of approximately $112,748.21 to a check, which funds he also converted for his personal use. In total, Gionfriddo stole $490,648.88 from the law firm.”
The complaint further alleges the law firm confronted Gionfriddo and he promised to repay the firm.
Gionfriddo then stole from a family member by taking approximately $45,000 from a checking account and approximately $217,000 from an online trading account.
Officials said, “he also caused a hardship withdrawal of $195,000 to be made against his family member’s defined contribution plan by impersonating his family member on recorded telephone calls with the plan’s provider and submitting bogus paperwork.”
If convicted, Gionfriddo could face a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment.