Dec 19, 2013
Nov 14, 2013
Nov 6, 2013
Oct 30, 2013
Public guardian worker charged with embezzling
A woman responsible for managing funds for wards of the state has been indicted for allegedly embezzling $52,000 in public funds, federal prosecutors said.
Heidi Lacerte was indicted on a single count of embezzlement for allegedly taking money from the Office of Public Guardian between February and October 2010, according to prosecutors.
The stolen money was Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits meant to cover "current medical and fiscal needs" of beneficiaries who were under the public guardian's care, according to the indictment.
The Office of Public Guardian is a nonprofit group established in 1979 to provide advocacy and guardianship for people whose family is unable to serve as a guardian. Part of Lacerte's job as an estate manager required her to manage the finances of individuals who received services from the Office of Public Guardian, prosecutors said. The indictment was filed in U.S. District Court alongside a plea agreement struck with federal prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors said that the funds were kept in an account held by the OPG, so it could be tapped as needed. But around Feb. 23, 2010, Lacerte began pilfering money from the fund by "having checks written to herself drawn against beneficiaries' funds," according to an indictment. Prosecutors say she also purchased gift cards and took cash intended for beneficiary accounts for her own use.
Court documents do not say how Lacerte's alleged theft was discovered. Terms of the plea deal do not reveal what prosecutors may recommend for a sentence, but Lacerte faces up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
The indictment and plea agreement was made public Nov. 8 in U.S. District Court. Lacerte is expected to enter her guilty plea on Nov. 30 before U.S. Judge Steven McAuliffe in federal court.
- - - - - - - -
James A. Kimble may be reached at JKimble@newstote.com.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Nashua man held in home invasion - 0
- Harvard student charged in bomb hoax released on bail - 6
- AG eyes whether credibility issue may undermine some Rockingham County convictions - 3
- City man charged with endangering child - 0
- Coos Superior Court hands up indictments - 0
- Coos County jury indicts Lancaster man in theft of firearms - 0
- Page Restaurant owners agree to pay $4,000 as part of plea deal - 0
- Driver arrested after nearly hitting Canaan police chief - 0
- Police say man attacked woman with sword - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Fugitive of the week: James Porter - 0
- Firefighters respond to fire at Somersworth home - 0
- Milford fatal crash remains under investigation - 0
- Snow could reschedule Super Bowl - 2
- Red Sox deal Morales for backup infielder - 0
- It's a season of switching teams for NASCAR drivers - 0
- Central girls down Trinity in OT - 0
- Pistons edge Celtics - 0
- Business is good for football elite - 0
Snow could reschedule Super Bowl
1 dead following Route 101 crash in Milford
City man charged with endangering child
- Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?
- Total Votes: 1424