AP NEWS

Accused Brookfield embezzler seeks program to avoid prison

April 15, 2019

DANBURY — After pleading not guilty, a woman accused of embezzling money from a Brookfield PTO has decided to apply for a special program to avoid a possible prison term.

Monica Bevilacqua, 39, of Brookfield, was arrested in December and accused of embezzling $12,700 from a Brookfield parent-teacher organization (PTO) over two years.

She was charged with one count of second-degree larceny, one count of illegal use of a credit card and three counts of second-degree forgery.

Bevilacqua’s decision to apply for a “diversionary” program came during her April 11 hearing at Danbury Superior Court, said Eugene Zingaro, her attorney.

She also “offered to pay full restitution,” Zingaro said.

Zingaro did not specify the diversionary program, but there are eight offered through the state Superior Court system.

One of those programs is accelerated pretrial rehabilitation — an option for people charged with crimes and motor vehicle violations deemed not serious by the courts, but that can still mean a prison term. If a defendant successfully completes accelerated rehabilitation, the court will dismiss charges.

Bevilacqua is accused of taking money from the Center Elementary School PTO’s account through a series of checks and more than 180 personal orders charged to the organization’s credit card.

The PTO is a private organization that doesn’t receive any public funding from the town of Brookfield or its schools.

Police began investigating last August after concerns were raised about irregularities in the PTO’s financial records.

Bevilacqua served as the PTO’s treasurer from November 2016 to July 2018.

According to police, Bevilacqua had written 11 checks to herself or to “cash,” and forged another person’s signature on three of them.

Police also found that she had used the PTO’s credit card to make 139 Amazon purchases, 24 DoorDash purchases and 19 other merchant purchases.

State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky could not be reached for comment.

Bevilacqua’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 14.