New Britain Contractor Convicted of Money Laundering is Sentenced to Federal Prison
June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MICHAEL CIARCIA, age 42 (DOB 5/10/64), of 113 Vincent Drive, Newington, Connecticut, was sentenced on Friday, June 30, by United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 13 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, on his convictions for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. On April 22, 2005, a federal jury found CIARCIA, the former owner of Ciarcia Construction LLC of New Britain, guilty of the charges.
According to evidence presented during the trial, in late 2001, Ciarcia Construction LLC was employed by the New Britain Housing Authority to rehabilitate residential units in the “Pinnacle Heights” housing development. Ciarcia Construction certified to the New Britain Housing Authority that an employee, Luis Santiago, worked for 40 hours between December 10, 2001 and December 14, 2001, when, in fact, Santiago did not perform any services for Ciarcia Construction during that week. Instead, Santiago gave CIARCIA $31,000 in cash that was generated by the sale of illegal drugs. In return, CIARCIA agreed to issue weekly paychecks from Ciarcia Construction LLC to Santiago, without requiring that Santiago perform any work. The conspiracy itself did not come to fruition as Santiago, who was the target of a federal wiretap investigation, was arrested and incarcerated near the end of December 2001.
As a result of the federal wiretap investigation, Santiago pleaded guilty, in a separate case, to conspiring to distribute cocaine and was subsequently sentenced to nine years of imprisonment on that conviction. Santiago was also charged as a co-conspirator of CIARCIA in an Indictment returned on May 26, 2004. On December 3, 2004, Santiago pleaded guilty to his involvement in the money laundering scheme and he was subsequently sentenced by Judge Thompson to 33 months of imprisonment, which sentence was ordered to be served concurrently with Santiago’s sentence on his prior drug conspiracy conviction. However, Judge Thompson sentenced Santiago to an additional, consecutive six months of imprisonment for contempt of court when he refused to answer questions during CIARCIA’s April 2005 trial.
Judge Thompson ordered CIARCIA to surrender to the federal Bureau of Prisons on August 29, 2006.
U.S. Attorney O’Connor complimented the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Britain Police Department for their efforts in this case.