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Grant writer in Nashua fraud scheme faces federal charge

By PAT GROSSMITH
New Hampshire Union Leader

June 15. 2017 1:14PM

DANA MICHELLE LAWRENCE 

CONCORD — A Nashua volunteer grant writer arrested in May in connection with an alleged fraud scheme had lived “off the grid” for a dozen years as a fugitive from Rhode Island, according to court documents.

Dana Michelle Lawrence, 43, of 17.5 Jefferson St., was indicted on a federal charge of fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

Lawrence, using the alias “Genevieve Kaplan,” had volunteered for the City of Nashua preparing grant applications when she was arrested on state charges earlier this month.

In a Rhode Island court in 2006, she was sentenced to a year in jail for theft and was ordered to pay restitution to victims. After her release, she was to be on probation for nine years.

Shortly after her release, however, federal prosecutors say she fled and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

According to court documents, on May 7, police and the FBI were contacted by Nashua officials and told that “Kaplan” tried to obtain routing numbers and account numbers for city bank accounts. Kim Kleiner, chief of staff for Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, told FBI Special Agent Mark Hastback that “Kaplan” had asked other city employees to identify the routing numbers and account numbers for various bank accounts that belonged to the city.

As part of the investigation, Hastback searched the FBI’s databases and conducted a public search for “Genevieve Kaplan,” but found no information related to a person by that name. He also obtained a copy of a signed “Application, Credit & Reference Check Authorization” form Kaplan had provided to her landlord. On that document, she listed her name as “Genna Kaplan,” and falsely stated she earned about $47,000 annually as a grant writer, according to Hastback.

On May 10 and May 11, Nashua detective Joseph Rousseau went to “Kaplan’s” apartment and spoke to her boyfriend, Nicholas Panteleakis, who said she was in New York City visiting friends. He said she was planning to return on May 13.

Panteleakis allowed Rousseau and Hastback, when they returned later on May 11, to search the two-bedroom apartment.

They said they found numerous cell phones, a laptop computer and assorted paperwork containing different names, addresses, dates of births and Social Security numbers.

About 15 minutes after the investigators left, Panteleakis called Hastback’s cell phone to say that while he and Rousseau were searching the apartment, “Kaplan” was hiding in the basement with her 4-year-old daughter. Several minutes later, Nashua police arrived and “Kaplan” voluntarily went to the police department where Rousseau and Hastback interviewed her.

“Kaplan” revealed her true identity in the interview, police said. She said she was a fugitive for about 12 years and had lived “off the grid” using multiple names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, police said.

She refused to identify the father of her daughter, accordign to police.

According to court records, she told police she was “on the run from an unknown male who she said had physically assaulted her and was stalking her.”

Lawrence told police she lied about her Social Security number on her lease application to keep herself and her daughter safe from the man allegedly stalking her, documents said.

She was charged in state court with identity fraud and being a fugitive from justice. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

If convicted of the federal charge, Lawrence faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Kinsella and Anna Dronzek are prosecuting the case.


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