Local day care owners say FBI investigation not related to business

The owners of a group of day care centers with locations in Waterford and East Lyme are attempting to dispel rumors that their business is linked to a federal investigation that involved a search at a Waterford home on Wednesday.

Larry Bevilacqua, chief executive officer of Carelot Children’s Center Inc. and his ex-wife, Holly Bevilacqua, the chief operating officer, sent a letter Friday to parents and staff at day care centers they run across eastern Connecticut, Larry Bevilacqua said.

In the letter, he said he addressed what he called “appalling” rumors circulating around the Internet. The rumors began when news broke Wednesday about an FBI raid at his ex-wife’s home at 18 Linda Ave.

The FBI, with assistance from Waterford police, executed a search warrant shortly after 5 a.m. at the home. Police and the FBI confirmed the search warrant but declined to discuss the nature of the investigation.

The FBI said there were no arrests associated with the case.

Larry Bevilacqua also declined to discuss any specifics but said he and his ex-wife are both cooperating with investigators and “working to help (the FBI) with the ongoing investigation.”

He adamantly denied that he, his wife or the day care centers are the target of the investigation.

“Somehow people are making the leap that it has something to do with the day care center,” Larry Bevilacqua said. “It’s awful. And it’s just not true. My ex-wife and I have worked for 20 years to care for children. The FBI is just doing their job and we’re trying to help them.”

The letter to the day care staff reads in part: “Please focus on the facts only and not the rumors that are being put out there on social media. The facts are that the home was searched, no arrests have been made as a result of the search and the investigation does not involve Carelot Children’s Center or its owners.”

Carelot operates day care facilities in Waterford, East Lyme, Killingly, Brooklyn and Chaplin.

They are also contracted by the towns of Voluntown and New London to operate before- and after-school programs, according to the company’s website.

g.smith@theday.com

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