Middlebury Fire Chief Charged with Embezzling Funds
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging PAUL PERROTTI, 47, of Middlebury, with three counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. PERROTTI is the Fire Chief for the Town of Middlebury.
PERROTTI was arrested this morning at his residence. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and was released on a $250,000 bond.
According to the indictment, PERROTTI has been the Fire Chief of the Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. (“MVFD”) since 1997. PERROTTI also is a licensed electrical contractor and, since approximately 2010, has operated Paul Perrotti Electric, LLC (“PPE”). The indictment alleges that between 2011 and 2013, PERROTTI used MVFD operating accounts to pay for unauthorized personal expenses and for expenses associated with PPE. These payments included checks paid directly to PERROTTI, checks paid directly to PPE, checks made directly payable to employees of PPE, checks made to various vendors of PPE for PPE-related supplies, and checks made to reimburse third parties for personal loans owed by PERROTTI. PERROTTI also submitted invoices to the Town of Middlebury for expenses that he falsely claimed were incurred by MVFD but, in fact, were expenses related to the business of PPE, including bills for various vendors of PPE.
The indictment further alleges that PERROTTI opened a Home Depot credit card account in the name of the MVFD and used it to purchase items related to his business, including electrical wires, breakers and wire. In addition, he used an MVFD debit card to withdraw cash for himself and to make purchases not related to the MVFD, including purchases for food and gas.
In total, it is alleged that PERROTTI embezzled more than $70,000 from the MVFD.
The charge of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan.
The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in Bridgeport.