Woman facing charges in Naugatuck fraud case

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By Jonathan Shugarts, Republican-American

Nancy Stokes

NAUGATUCK — A Waterbury woman who works as a real estate agent in Southbury is due in court next month after police charged her with impersonating the wife of a man she was dating before his death to obtain more than $62,000, according to an arrest warrant.

Nancy Stokes, 68, of Waterbury, was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, criminal impersonation and second-degree identity theft.

Naugatuck police launched an investigation of Stokes in March after a 90-year-old woman, Hazel Rosa, told police that her identity had been used to withdraw more than $62,000 from a stock market account. Stokes had been dating Rosa’s recently deceased husband, Nicholas Rosa, a 90-year-old attorney, who died in February, according to Stokes’ arrest warrant.

The stock market account was in her name only, Hazel Rosa told police, and she never authorized anyone to liquidate the shares.

Rosa’s son told police a check issued to his mom had been sent to his father’s home in Naugatuck and was later deposited into a shared bank account. Money was later withdrawn and used to pay back taxes on Nicholas Rosa’s home and also to pay back a $25,000 loan, according to the warrant.

Other checks drawn on that same account totaling $3,500, were made out to Stokes, Rosa’s son told police. Police found that other portions of those funds were used for utility bills, medical insurance, a Lexus auto loan and credit card payments, among others.

Police obtained recordings of calls made to DWS, the fund that held the stocks, during which a woman’s voice is heard answering questions to verify her identity, including the last four digits of her Social Security number. A man’s voice is also heard directing the woman how to answer the questions, according to Stokes’ arrest warrant.

Rosa’s son later identified Stokes as the woman in the call and the man as his father, according to police. Police also found that a cell number listed for Stokes was used to make the call to liquidate the stock account.

Police also compared the signature on the check, finding that it did not look similar to Hazel Rosa’s signature. They also found probable cause that Stokes had conspired with Nicholas Rosa in the fraudulent activity.

Civil court filings also show that Rosa’s family is suing a limited liability company, Mazuk, which state business records show is owned by Stokes. The suit accuses Nicholas Rosa of transferring — tax free — a four-unit apartment building on Westbury Road in Watertown to Stokes weeks before his death.

The suit asks for money damages and also for the property title to be transferred back to Rosa’s estate.

Stokes, who works as an agent for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, was honored with a Malcolm Baldrige Volunteer of the Year award in 2003, as well as Main Street Waterbury’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2004.

When reached Aug. 6, Stokes said she couldn’t speak with a reporter and when asked if her attorney could be contacted, said she couldn’t “do that,” before hanging up.

Stokes was released after posting a $10,000 bond and is due in Waterbury Superior Court on Sept. 22.