- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Springfield Woman Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to Larceny Schemes
Springfield — A Springfield woman pleaded guilty to charges in connection with stealing more than $8,000 in various larceny schemes, including defrauding state agencies and a Massachusetts homeless shelter, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Lynn Minella, 51, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Hampden County Superior Court on charges of Larceny Over $250 (2 counts), Conspiracy to Commit Larceny (1 count), Attempt to Commit Larceny Over $250 (1 count), and Forgery of a Birth Certificate (2 counts). She will be sentenced on September 27.
Minella worked as an advocate at a local women’s shelter. Investigators found that from 2013 through 2015, Minella stole more than $4,300 in donated gift cards intended for shelter participants. She allegedly used these gift cards to purchase furniture for herself and her family members.
The AG’s Office also found that Minella and another individual, Jody Farber-Winters, used identities of shelter participants to apply for RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), a homelessness prevention program funded by Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Minella and Farber-Winters created a fake property management company and forged housing court documents to steal more than $3,900 in benefits.
Both Minella and Farber-Winters were indicted in September 2017. Farber-Winters pled guilty to all counts in April 2018 and was sentenced to three years of probation and restitution.
The AG’s Office began an investigation into this matter after an initial investigation by the Bureau of Special Investigations in Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump’s Office found misconduct pursuant to a referral from DHCD.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vasiliades of AG Healey’s Criminal Bureau.