Woman sentenced to prison for stealing from Shelton firm

A woman accused of stealing almost $250,000 from a Shelton company has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.

Angelina Velasquez, 46, of Trumbull, was sentenced Thursday to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for two fraud offenses. The second fraud case involved stealing an individual’s tax refund.

The Shelton Police Department worked with federal and state law enforcement officials during the investigation.

Generated and cashed unauthorized checks

According to court documents and statements made in court, Velasquez was employed as the payroll and human resources coordinator for a victim company in Shelton. Court documents indicate the company was Hewlitt Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is owned by Apple Healthcare Inc.

From about September 2007 to November 2009, Velasquez manipulated her employer’s payroll system and caused the company to generate about 350 unauthorized payroll checks, totaling $247,570, in the names of 87 different employees at the company, federal officials said.

She then intercepted the checks before delivery to the employees, forged their signatures on the back of the checks, deposited and cashed the checks at two banks, and used the proceeds for her own personal use, officials said.

In addition, Velasquez assisted individuals by preparing and submitting personal income tax returns.  In 2009, she defrauded an individual out of her tax refund of $5,146, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Sentenced in New Haven courthouse

Velasquez pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud on Feb. 28, 2013. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in the New Haven federal court.

This matter was investigated by the Shelton Police Department, U.S. Secret Service, and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.