Carmen Dozier Pleads Not Guilty to Inn Embezzlement and Bank Fraud
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Carmen Dozier, 38, of Middletown Springs, pleaded not guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to federal fraud charges. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released Dozier on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.
Last week, a federal grand jury in Rutland returned a two-count indictment charging Dozier with wire fraud and bank fraud. According to the indictment, in May 2013 Dozier was hired as the front desk manager at the Brandon Inn in Brandon, Vermont. Dozier prepared payroll records which were sent to the Inn’s payroll processing company. She also took and confirmed reservations and paid vendors for goods and services for the Inn. The indictment charges that, beginning in July 2013 and continuing until mid-May 2014, Dozier embezzled about $70,000 from the Inn. She did this by falsifying the Inn’s payroll records to inflate the regular and overtime hours she ostensibly worked, thereby causing the Inn’s payroll processor to issue her paychecks or electronic direct deposits in amounts that exceeded her earned income. The indictment further charges that Dozier caused fraudulent transfers of Inn funds to her personal bank account at Lake Sunapee Bank. In addition, Dozier fraudulently used credit cards issued to the Inn’s owners to make personal purchases, and fraudulently opened and used a BillMeLater PayPal service account.
The indictment accuses Dozier of also defrauding Lake Sunapee Bank by depositing, and attempting to deposit, about $20,000 worth of checks which were made payable to Dozier and which were purportedly signed by family members. In fact, the checks were written against out-of-state accounts which either were closed or did not contain sufficient funds. Dozier attempted to withdraw the apparent proceeds of the checks from Lake Sunapee Bank before the checks were dishonored.
The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty.
If convicted, Dozier faces up to 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
This case was investigated by the Brandon Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Dozier is represented by Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.