More details released about volunteer grant writer arrested in NashuaBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
May 31. 2017 4:37PM
NASHUA — More details are being released about the volunteer grant writer from Nashua arrested last month in connection with an alleged fraud scheme that could have spanned several states.
Dana Michelle Lawrence, 43, of 17.5 Jefferson St., was scheduled to appear in court last week for a probable cause hearing, however the court proceeding was waived, according to a clerk at the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division.
Lawrence, who was using an alias by the name of Genevieve Kaplan while attempting to work with the city and local nonprofit organizations, prepared two grant applications on behalf of the city as a volunteer before allegedly attempting to obtain secure city financial account information.
Although a motion to seal court documents, specifically the prosecutor’s synopsis of the case, was originally filed by Det. Joseph Rousseau of the Nashua Police Department, which noted that premature disclosure of the information could interfere with the ongoing investigation. The motion has since been withdrawn.
According to the synopsis, Kimberly Kleiner, chief of staff for Mayor Jim Donchess, reported to police that Kaplan, eventually known as Lawrence, was not following city grant writing protocol and was making false allegations about Kleiner’s personal life.
On occasion, Kleiner and her husband would have dinner with Lawrence and her boyfriend, Nicholas Panteleakis, according to court records. Kleiner and her spouse, Jeff, agreed to meet with Panteleakis on May 7 at Norton’s Cafe to discuss Lawrence’s actions regarding her grant writing for the city’s My Brother’s Keepers program.
Although Lawrence was not present for the breakfast meeting, she later sent a text message to Kleiner indicating that she had listened to the conversation between the three.
“Kim advised that she didn’t know if she was being recorded, and contacted the police with this concern,” state court records.
Lawrence allegedly became “belligerent and hostile” when the city refused to provide the account information requested by Lawrence, the mayor’s office said in a previous statement, which also prompted city staff to report the suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
Upon further investigation, police discovered that Lawrence had been using the name Kaplan for the past 12 years, allegedly lied on her lease credit application and had an outstanding warrant out of Rhode Island for felony fraud.
According to court documents, Lawrence told police she was “on the run from an unknown male who she said had physically assaulted her and was stalking her,” wrote Rousseau.
Lawrence said she lied about her social security number on her lease application in an effort to keep herself and her 4-year-old daughter safe from the man allegedly stalking her, say court records.
Panteleakis told police that Lawrence moved to Nashua in 2016 and initially lived at a secure residence through the Bridges program, which provides support for domestic and sexual assault victims. He also told police that Lawrence and her daughter were allegedly hiding in the basement of the Jefferson Street residence when police came to question him, according to court documents.
Lawrence is facing felony charges of identity fraud and being a fugitive from justice; she could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
She is being held on $100,000 cash bail.