Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vermont Electric Utility Investigating $1 Million Embezzlement

The Hardwick Electric Department in Vermont has reported that it is investigating an alleged embezzlement by one of its employees of at least $1 million from the utility. The unnamed employee's scheme reportedly spanned a period of more than 10 years. Full details have yet to be released. However, it has been reported that the office manager, Joyce A. Bellavance, 57, of Hardwick, Vermont, has been relieved of her duties although no charges have yet been filed.


Read the story here, here and here.

Update (12/16/10): Bellavance is now believed to have embezzled $1.4 million. She had been employed as Hardwick's office manager. According to authorities, Bellavance issued at least 267 fraudulent checks for her own personal benefit. Bellavance had been employed by the utility for some 37 years. Two co-workers discovered the embezzlement scheme when Bellavance was out sick.

Update (2/1/11): Bellavance was officially indicted yesterday on charges she embezzled $1.4 million from the Hardwick Electric Department over a 10 year period. She allegedly used the stolen monies to live a lavish lifestyle. Read an update of the story here.

Update (1/18/12): Bellavance was sentenced to 42 months in prison for embezzling what is now understood to be $1.6 million from the Hardwick Electric Department.

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