Connecticut Finance Director Accused Of Fraudulent Taking $2 Million To Fund Gambling and Florida Mistress

Former Winchester, Connecticut Finance Director Henry Centrella was arrested by Connecticut state police on an accusation of stealing more than $2 million from taxpayers to fund his gambling and a double life of extravagant spending on a Florida mistress he had promised to marry. According to court affidavits, Centrella had a mistress in Florida he was engaged to in 2009. According to the warrant, she said Centrella was looking into purchasing two homes there around that time. The values of those homes ranged from $700,000 to $1 million. No such homes were ever purchased.

Embezzlement is the act of fraudulently withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes. It is important to make clear that embezzlement is not always a form of theft or an act of stealing, since those definitions specifically deal with taking something that does not belong to the accused. Instead, embezzlement is, more generically, an act of deceitfully secreting assets by one or more persons that have been entrusted with such assets. The person(s) entrusted with such assets may or may not have an ownership stake in such assets. indexgamblingwine.jpg

Embezzlement is a kind of financial fraud. For instance, a lawyer could embezzle funds from clients’ trust accounts, a financial advisor could embezzle funds from investors, or a person simply entrusted with the funds of another could embezzle funds, say from a spouse or parent. Embezzlement may range from the very minor in nature, involving only small amounts, to vast sums and sophisticated schemes.

Many think that embezzling government funds is impossible, but embezzlement and other white collar crimes are becoming more common and extend to both the government and private sectors. Many times, embezzlement is performed in a manner that is premeditated, systematic and/or methodical, with the explicit intent to conceal the activities from other individuals. As a result, the courts are cracking down on those convicted of embezzlement, and the penalties are more severe than ever.

If the embezzler is caught, the penalties can be severe. Embezzlement may be either a misdemeanor or felony, and tired in State or Federal Court depending upon the amount / value involved, special circumstances of the offense, and the type of business entity where the embezzlement occurred. An embezzlement conviction may range from 1 to 20 year in prison, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the evidence against the accused.

Often, successful embezzlement schemes involves the trusted individual embezzling only a small portion or fraction of the total of the funds or resources they receive or control, minimizing risk of detection of the misallocation of the funds or resources. Sometimes successful embezzlements schemes will be repeated and continue for years without detection.

Normally, the reason a person is caught or accused of embezzlement is because either an audit was completed, or a relatively large proportion of the funds were needed and suddenly not available. Many times, the victim or victims of the embezzlement do not realize the funds, savings, assets or other resources, are missing until too late and that they have been duped by the embezzler, who many times escapes with the victim’s livelihood.

If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville theft crimes defense attorney, one will have a strong chance of obtaining a favorable outcome, and will have the best defenses to what one is accused of, helping one get through the legal system, possibly without any conviction whatsoever. One should not risk one’s chances on a judge’s good nature. One should obtain a sure help for the future.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Henry Centrella, former Winsted finance director, spent stolen money on gambling, mistress, The Register-Citizen