BURLINGTON - A Connecticut woman who is accused of killing her husband and hiding his body for six months is facing a new charge of collecting his paychecks after he was dead, authorities said.
Linda Kosuda-Bigazzi, 73, was arrested in February 2018 in the death of her husband, Dr. Pierluigi Bigazzi, a professor of laboratory science and pathology at UConn Health. She is free on bond and has a court appearance Wednesday on the murder charge.
Kosuda-Bigazzi is now facing a first-degree larceny charge after investigators said she collected biweekly checks from UConn Health after his death, state police said in a news release Friday.
The body of Dr. Bigazzi, 84, was found on Feb. 5, 2018 when police went to the couple's home in Burlington, Connecticut, for a wellness check. The medical examiner said he died of blunt trauma to the head. Kosuda-Bigazzi, was charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence.
Investigators believe that Dr. Bigazzi died sometime in August 2017 and that UConn Health paychecks totaling totaling $46,408 were deposited into the couple's joint account between September 2017 and February 2018.
UConn Health and attorneys for Kosuda-Bigazzi initially agreed in 2018 for Kosuda-Bigazzi to pay $50,040 back to the medical school.
But officials with the school say the paychecks were only a portion of the $102,165 that UConn Health paid on behalf of Dr. Bigazzi during the period after his death. The rest of the funds went toward health insurance, union dues, his retirement account and other deductions, they said.
“UConn Health submits that Ms. Bigazzi wrongfully received monies into the account she held jointly with Dr. Bigazzi and that she also wrongfully permitted monies to be paid to other sources on Dr. Bigazzi’s behalf for several months when she knew that her husband was no longer performing work for UConn Health," Jeffrey P. Geoghegan, the school's chief financial officer, told police, according to an arrest warrant.
But Kotsuda-Bigazzi's attorney said Sunday that he was perplexed by the new larceny charge after his client had already reimbursed the school for the money she received.
“Now, a new arrest over three years later on the same issue without prior notification to my client or myself? There is more here that meets the eye,” defense lawyer Patrick Tomasiewicz said in an email. “We will aggressively pursue her defense to exonerate her of this charge."
Kosuda-Bigazzi also denies committing the murder, Tomasiewicz said.
Emails asking about the earlier reimbursement agreement between UConn Health and Kosuda-Bigazzi were sent to Geoghegan and the state police on Sunday.