Connecticut Insulation Contractor Sentenced to 57 Months in Federal Prison for Operating Fraud Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EDWARD PETRUCCI, 58, of Orange, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 57 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating a scheme that defrauded a company of more than $2.5 million and forced it to go out of business.
According to court documents and statements made in court, PETRUCCI operated Womco Insulation, Inc., Incor Group, Inc., D & N Insulation Company, and Petco Insulation Company, all of which were West Haven-based companies that performed construction services, mechanical insulation and asbestos removal in large-scale building projects in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
In 2006, PETRUCCI, who had just been released from federal prison, was unable to secure funding from a bank so he started doing business with Platinum Funding Services, LLC, a New York factoring company that provided funding to client companies. A factoring company typically purchases a company’s receivables at a discount, providing the company with liquid assets at a discounted rate while purchasing the right to collect on the purchased receivables at a later date.
In the beginning of their relationship, Platinum regularly purchased PETRUCCI’s invoices from legitimate insulation jobs throughout Connecticut and collected on those invoices without any serious problems. However, from approximately December 2007 to April 2009, PETRUCCI defrauded Platinum by causing his companies to sell invoices to Platinum that PETRUCCI knew were fake, and which were for work that his companies had not performed and, in many cases, would not perform in the future.
Through this scheme, PETRUCCI’s companies received more than $2.5 million in payments from Platinum that were based on the fraudulent invoices, and on invoices that he double collected without forwarding the money to Platinum.
PETRUCCI’s scheme forced Platinum out of business and approximately 40 Platinum employees lost their jobs.
Judge Covello ordered PETRUCCI to pay restitution in the amount of $2,979,972.53.
On November 7, 2013, PETRUCCI pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.
PETRUCCI has a prior federal conviction. In May 2005, PETRUCCI was sentenced to two months in prison for filing false corporate and personal tax returns and evading the payment of more than $1 million in federal income taxes. He was serving a three-year term of federal supervised release when he began the scheme against Platinum.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.