WEYBRIDGE — U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss on Thursday, July 18, sentenced former Weybridge Town Clerk Karen Brisson to two years in prison, along with an order to pay her community and its insurance company $431,812.06 in restitution. The sentence was in response to Brisson’s guilty plea to having embezzled funds from the town’s coffers over a period of at least six years.
Brisson will also be subject to two years of supervised release when she leaves prison. She will begin serving her sentence on Sept. 3, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples, who prosecuted the case.
Brisson, 51, served as Weybridge’s clerk/treasurer for more than 26 years before resigning last November after admitting to having embezzled municipal funds. An ensuing forensic audit of the town’s books revealed the magnitude of that embezzlement: an estimated $485,000 since 2006.
According to the charging information and court records, Brisson was the authorized signer on the town’s checking accounts. Prosecutors alleged that Brisson embezzled funds from around 2006 through late 2012, primarily by writing checks to herself and depositing the checks into personal accounts. During the period of embezzlement, Weybridge received more than $10,000 in federal grants, loans and other forms of assistance, according to prosecutors.
Brisson accepted a plea deal in the case prior to herJuly 18 sentencing in Federal District Court in Rutland on Thursday.
The town selectboard has tentatively set a special meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 10, at which voters will decide how to allocate its insurance reimbursement of $475,980 in connection with the embezzlement case.
Weybridge received its insurance settlement through the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.