The United States Attorney's Office has selected Darien Police Detective Elizabeth DiIorio to receive the 2019 US Attorney's Award for her contributions to United States v. Vanessa Vence-Small. The investigation in to Vence-Small began in the Summer of 2017 when BMW of Darien provided information to Det. DiIorio that indicated that an employee was embezzling funds from the company. While working as BMW’s financial controller, it was discovered that Vence-Small had embezzled $1.1 million from the dealership in just three years.
Due to the significant amount involved, the investigation reached the federal level and the United States Secret Service and the CT Financial Crimes Task Force were brought on board. Over the next several months it was determined that Vence-Small had used company funds to pay off personal credit card bills, take luxury vacations, purchase a sports car, and to perform home remodeling and landscaping work.