February 21, 2020
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North Branford Woman Charged with Embezzlement, Fraud and Identity Theft Offenses

Published Sep. 18, 2019

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Sept. 17, 2019: John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Melissa Meole, 34, of North Branford, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging her with multiple embezzlement, fraud and identity theft offenses.

Meole appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven and was released on a $200,000 bond.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, Meole was employed by Bridgeport Health Care Center Inc. ("BHCC-INC"), a corporation that operates a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Bridgeport known as Bridgeport Health Care Center ("BHCC").  Prior to November 2018, BHCC-INC also operated a second nursing and rehabilitation facility in Bridgeport known as Bridgeport Manor.  Meole worked in BHCC-INC's business office and was responsible for processing payroll and for handling the finances of the Bridgeport Manor resident trust account.  Between approximately January and October 2018, Meole embezzled approximately $150,000 from the BHCC and Bridgeport Manor resident trust accounts.

In addition, the complaint alleges that Meole stole more than $29,000 from BHCC-INC in the form of payroll checks, which she deposited into her personal bank account.

It is further alleged that, after Meole's employment with BHCC-INC was terminated in October 2018, Meole defrauded another employer of more than $9,000, and she defrauded multiple banks in an identity theft and check kiting scheme.

The complaint charges Meole with theft or embezzlement in connection with health care, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; health care fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years; and aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration, Boston Regional Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David E. Novick and Neeraj N. Patel.

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