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A Watertown man was arrested two weeks ago on charges that he embezzled more than $200,000 from a Cheshire business.
On July 13, Joseph DeAngelo, 50, was arrested for embezzling money from BCI Financial, a Cheshire company that handles mortgage loans. According to the Cheshire Police Department, at the end of 2009 BCI officials became suspicious after DeAngelo, who was in charge of accounting, did not immediately turn in the end-of-year books. After he eventually turned them over to other accountants, irregularities were noticed, police stated. BCI President Tim Rourke was then contacted and an internal investigation was begun.
Rourke could not be reached for comment.
According to police, in the middle of 2010, DeAngelo was fired from his position at BCI Financial. The company started its own internal audit, which took nearly six months to complete. It was in February 2011 that company officials formally filed a complaint with the Cheshire Police Department. Det. Kerry Nastri, who handled the investigation, said the company was very cooperative and immediately turned over its books and other documents it had compiled over the last year. It was determined, based on these audits, that DeAngelo had been taking money from the company from at least 2007 through 2010. The total amount taken is more than $200,000, reportedly.
Nastri explained that the detectives met with a forensic examiner and decided on how best to proceed. Once the police “had the facts of the case,” Nastri stated they contacted DeAngelo, who was immediately represented by an attorney. He was officially arrested on July 13.
Nastri explained that DeAngelo is facing 13 counts, 12 of which are felonies. He is being charged with four counts of larceny in the first degree, eight counts of forgery in the second degree, and one count of computer crime in the third degree.
DeAngelo appeared in Meriden Superior Court yesterday.
Police also continue to investigate residential burglaries that occurred around the Fourth of July in the Riverside Drive section of Cheshire. According to Lt. James Fasano, as many as four homes were burglarized over that weekend. It appears the suspects targeted jewelry and other valuables. In one instance, the theft was interrupted when the home's alarm system went off and scared the burglars away, Fasano explained. He said it was important, especially in the summer when people take vacations and are out of town, for neighbors to watch out and report any suspicious activity to police.
“We ask residents to keep an eye on their neighbors’ houses. If they see any suspicious persons or vehicles, call us right away so we can send an officer out to investigate,” Fasano said. “Do not assume it's just a person doing work on the house. If you are not sure, call us.”
Fasano also advised residents who go out of town to put their lights on timers so they turn on and off at various times throughout the day and night, giving the house the appearance that it is occupied. Also, make sure home and car doors are locked at all times, even during the day. Fasano said garage doors should also remain closed, even if a person is home, so burglars don't get any ideas. Lastly, if a home is equipped with an alarm system, “turn it on and use it,” Fasano urged.
“The (burglaries) seemed to have slowed down and detectives are pursuing leads,” Fasano said, “but we need the public's help. Lock your doors and look out for suspicious activity.”