NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A New Haven woman plead guilty Thursday to allegations that she lied to government officials in order to receive witness assistance funds.
According to Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Lacey Bland, 35, of New Haven, was a potential witness in an unrelated court case. She reported concerns about her personal safety, so the court authorized her to receive Emergency Witness Assistance Program funds from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The purpose of these funds was to provide Bland with the resources necessary to move to a new area where she would feel safer for the duration of the trial. She reported to officials that she had found a new place to live, and requested a $3,600 check to pay for rent.
Bland requested to the court that they make the check payable to a name she said belonged to her landlord’s wife. Bland also requested nearly $400 in cash to cover moving expenses.
An investigation later revealed that Bland had never moved, and the name she had given to officials as her landlord’s wife was in fact a friend of Bland’s, who had no connection to the area where Bland said she had moved.
Bland is currently scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford on September 17, 2015. Her charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.
Bland never received the funds.