FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

NIGERIAN NAILED IN PHISHING SCHEME

A federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment yesterday charging a Nigerian national with fraud and identity theft in connection with the email phishing scheme where he accessed the W-2 forms of Groton school employees. Thirty-five-year-old OLUKAYODE IBRAHIM LAWAL was arrested last week at his home in Smyrna, Georgia. He allegedly sent an employee of the Groton Public Schools an email that appeared to be sent by another Groton school system employee. The email contained a request to send W-2 tax information for all employees of the school system. Authorities say Lawal authored 100 tax returns from the W-2’s and claimed tax refunds totaling almost $492,000.  Approximately three of the returns were processed, and more than $23,000 in fraudulently-obtained funds were electronically deposited into various bank accounts. LAWAL entered the U.S. on a visitor’s visa in November 2016, and failed to depart on his scheduled departure date in December 2016.

SHIPWAY SEEKING FINANCIAL PARTNER

Proposed Shipway 221 (The Day)

De­vel­op­ers of Ship­way 221, a po­ten­tial 201 res­i­den­tial unit project on the for­mer Hughie’s Restau­rant site in New London, have not said they are aban­don­ing the pro­ject but did con­firm plans to mar­ket the property. They did say the plan is “sim­ply a search for a joint ven­ture part­ner.” The pro­posed pro­ject is one, in a wave of new res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments be­ing built to meet the needs of a grow­ing labor force at Elec­tric Boat. It also would be the first new con­struc­tion in the Fort Trum­bull mu­nic­i­pal de­vel­op­ment area and a win for the Re­nais­sance City De­vel­op­ment Agency, the de­vel­op­ment arm of the city that ne­go­ti­ated the agree­ment with the de­vel­op­ers.

GOP TURNS TO DELUCIA

Nick DeLucia (The Day)

Norwich Republican Nick DeLucia has been endorsed as the party’s candidate for state House of Representatives in the 139th district. DeLucia is a sales manager for AT&T, and has served as a U.S. Marine and is vice president of AT&T’s veterans employee resource group for Connecticut and New England. Kevin Ryan of Montville is the longtime incumbent Democrat facing Delucia’s challenge.

SHELLFISHING REGS DISCUSSED

There was criticism, and support from a large residential crowd of Waterford and East Lyme residents at a public hearing Thursday night about how oysters and scallops should be farmed in the Niantic river. If approved, new procedures would amend a plan the commission developed in 2002. People who spoke said the process of developing the rules for commercial shellfishing contained vague spots. One homeowner said the proposed procedures do not clearly address requirements of applicants, or outline measures for the success of any commercial shellfishing projects in the river. They say the issue isn’t about whether or not they want shellfishing done in our river, but more about that it be done responsibly.

HEMP FARMING PROMOTED

Noank farmer Kevin Blacker says with dairy farming in recession, Connecticut needs to focus on a crop that has a promising future. Industrial hemp, a strong fiber plant used to make everything from clothing, to rope and paper, can be grown on fields throughout the region. The problem is, industrial hemp plants look just like marijuana, even with a tiny fraction of the psychoactive ingredient THC. Blacker, who owns a landscape company in Noank, is leading the push to launch industrial hemp production in the state.

DRUGGIE SENTENCED

A Taftville man will serve 25 years in prison for drug conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms. Erick Adams was charged with conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, 280 grams or more of cocaine base.  Due to prior felony convictions, Adams was prohibited from possessing firearms.

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