Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update: Former Vermont Town Treasurer Charged With Embezzling More Than $400K

Donald Hewitt, 58, of Ira, Vermont, was charged in state court with embezzling more than $400,000 from the Town of Ira, where he had served as town treasurer. According to authorities, a town audit revealed discrepancies in some of its accounts and implicated Hewitt in the misappropriation of $404,268. Hewitt reportedly admitted to the thefts, which occurred over a 6 year period, in order to pay personal bills. Hewitt had been town treasurer for 32 years.

Read FraudTalk's original post on this story here.

Read the story here and here.

Read the Vermont State Police announcement here.

Update (3/12/11): Hewitt reportedly entered into a plea agreement with federal authorities on a wire fraud charge, admitting he embezzled more than $404,000 from the Town of Ira in Vermont. Federal prosecutors allege that Hewitt's thefts began in 1980 and spanned a 30 year period. The case moved from a state to a federal jurisdiction due to the electronic transfers involved and the fact that the federal charge carries a 20 year sentence, instead of a 10 year sentence on the state level. According to the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin, Hewitt's scheme was accomplished by "issuing unauthorized checks, drawn on town accounts, to himself and then depositing the checks into personal accounts controlled by him; by misappropriating cash payments made by residents of Ira for town property taxes; and by forgiving without authorization property taxes due and owing to the town."

Update (4/11/11): Hewitt, now 59, formally pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud admitting he embezzled at least $300,000 from the Town of Ira, Vermont, where he had served as treasurer. He faces up to 20 years in prison, plus restitution and fines.

Update (1/19/12): Hewitt, now 60, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to about $348,000 in restitution.

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