Former New Bedford Housing Authority Employee Indicted in Connection with Stealing $13,800 from Agency
Former Employee Also Indicted for Allegedly Stealing $79,000 from a Friend
BOSTON – A former employee of the New Bedford Housing Authority (NBHA) has been indicted in connection with stealing $13,800 from the agency by submitting fraudulent expense reimbursements, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today. The former employee has also been indicted in connection with stealing more than $79,000 from a friend and charged with a drug-related offense.
Danny Romanowicz II, 31, of New Bedford, was indicted by a Bristol County Grand Jury on the charges of Larceny over $250 (10 counts), Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (7 counts), and Possession of a Class B Substance.
“We allege that this defendant abused his position at the New Bedford Housing Authority to steal thousands of dollars by submitting numerous fraudulent requests for reimbursement for items and services he did not actually purchase or receive,” AG Coakley said. “Our office will continue to hold accountable those public employees who we allege engage in or conspire to commit larceny, fraud, and other crimes against public agencies.”
In September 2010, the AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the New Bedford Police Department and the Inspector General’s Office. Romanowicz worked as a Senior Project Manager in the Modernization, Planning and Development Office of the NBHA. From March 2009 through February 2010, authorities believe Romanowicz submitted numerous fraudulent requests for reimbursement seeking compensation from the NBHA for money he claimed to have spent on work-related educational expenses, computer software, digital data, and auto mileage. Authorities allege that he was reimbursed for his purported expenditures and collected approximately $13,800 from the NBHA. Further investigation revealed that Romanowicz never actually attended the classes, purchased the software or data, or travelled the mileage as he claimed.
During the same time of the alleged defrauding of the NBHA, authorities allege that Romanowicz was also stealing from his longtime friend. According to authorities, beginning in or around September 2008, Romanowicz made more than $30,000 worth of unauthorized charges to seven different credit cards in his friend’s name over a period of approximately five months. Authorities also allege that, between June 2009 and February 2010, Romanowicz stole more than $49,000 from that same friend.
In December 2010, Romanowicz was arrested in New Bedford by the New Bedford Police after they observed him participate in an alleged drug transaction.
A Bristol Grand Jury returned indictments against Romanowicz on March 22, 2012. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gina Masotta of AG Coakley’s Public Integrity Division, with assistance from Deputy Director Sallyann Nelligan of AG Coakley’s Financial Investigations Division, Victim Witness Advocate Shannon Legrice, also from the AG’s Office, the New Bedford Police Department, the Office of Inspector General Gregory W. Sullivan, and Special Agent in Charge Cortez Richardson of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General.