Hubbardton woman jailed for defrauding Addison County development corp.

MIDDLEBURY — A Hubbardton woman has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for defrauding a combined total of $55,000 from several lending institutions — including the Addison County Economic Development Corp., or ACEDC.
U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvin Murtha pronounced the sentence on Oct. 9 on Ruth Tucker, 66. In addition to receiving the 21-month prison sentence, Tucker has been ordered to pay restitution to her victims and will face three years of supervised release upon completion of her term, according to a press release issued by the office of U.S. District Attorney Tristram J. Coffin.
According to court records, during 2009, Tucker fraudulently obtained loans from Community Capital of Vermont and the ACEDC totaling $55,000, which she said she would use to reestablish her small business and to hire Vermonters.  Instead, she used the funds to buy registered Morgan horses and to pay for their training and board as well as other horse-related expenses, according to federal prosecutors.
The ACEDC’s loss amounts to $20,000, according to Robin Scheu, executive director of the Middlebury-based organization.
Tucker also defrauded People’s United Bank (formerly the Chittenden Bank) and KeyBank by writing large checks on accounts with insufficient balances, according to authorities. Many of these checks were also for horse related purchases. The loss to these banks was approximately $18,000. 
Also, Tucker wrote bad checks to local businesses and individuals who also suffered losses.
Tucker was first indicted by a federal grand jury on July 15, 2010, for two counts of bank fraud. On Oct. 7, 2010, the grand jury added two additional counts of wire fraud. Tucker was arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents on Aug. 4, 2010, and pleaded guilty to the superseding indictment on June 2, 2011.
This case was investigated by the Secret Service, and Coffin commended this agency for its work. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy J. Creswell.
Tucker was represented by Steven Barth of the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

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