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Prosecutors: Agency Defrauded By Former Manager

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
June 30, 2017
Posted in: Crime and Police News

A North Huntingdon Twp. woman was indicted Tuesday in federal court on charges she defrauded the Steel Valley Authority by writing checks to herself, and her creditors, over a six-year period.

Nicolette Gizzi, 44, is charged with five counts of bank fraud and mail fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said.

Founded during the economic slowdown of the 1980s and based in Swissvale, Steel Valley Authority is a non-profit agency that arranges financing and grants to support manufacturing in 12 municipalities, including Clairton, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh, Glassport, Homestead, McKeesport, Munhall, Pittsburgh, Rankin, Swissvale, Turtle Creek and West Homestead.

SVA also operates a statewide program designed to help manufacturers restructure their businesses to avoid layoffs. The authority is funded primarily through federal grants.

Gizzi was the financial manager for SVA, prosecutors said. They allege that beginning in December 2009 and continuing through June 2016, Gizzi issued checks to herself and her credit card company from SVA's account, forging the required signatures.

Prosecutors also accuse Gizzi of concealing a previous federal conviction in South Carolina, and of forging signatures on official documents, including the signature of a notary public.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the indictment, a spokeswoman said.

Originally published June 30, 2017.

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