Brandon Inn worker cited for embezzlement
BRANDON — A former employee of the Brandon Inn has been charged with embezzling roughly $60,000 from the owners of the Park Street landmark in downtown Brandon.
According to Brandon police, Carmen M. Dozier, 38, of Rutland falsified her time cards, set up fake vendor accounts, and had bill payments funneled to her personal bank account over the course of the one year she was employed as the front desk clerk at the inn.
Brandon Police Lt. Rod Pulsifer said that Brandon Inn owners Louis and Sarah Pattis suspected that Dozier was embezzling from them and filed a police report this past May 26. Pulsifer said over the course of a four-month investigation, with Dozier’s help, police were able to account for a loss of roughly $60,000.
“She was somewhat cooperative,” Pulsifer said regarding Dozier’s participation in the investigation. “She acknowledged that she did some of the things that were alleged — being paid for time she did not work, and setting up the fictitious vendors.”
Pulsifer said Dozier cited family issues and health issues as her reasons for allegedly embezzling the funds.
Pulsifer and the Pattises both say the total loss is closer to $80,000-$90,000, but that all of the money has not yet been accounted for, and some cash transactions cannot be traced. The investigation is ongoing.
Pulsifer said it is the largest embezzlement case in Brandon that he is aware of.
According to police, the embezzlement took place between June 2013 and May 2014. Sarah Pattis said Dozier was hired in May 2013 and allegedly began falsifying her timecards soon after in order to receive overtime and vacation time that she did not earn. Dozier was also in charge of paying the inn’s vendors, and police said Dozier set up false vendor accounts under a slightly different business name, then arranged to have the payments directed to her personal bank account.
Pattis said she and her husband became suspicious last winter when they noticed there was much less money in their accounts, and then when Dozier issued herself an overtime check for 40 additional hours she did not work.
“She nearly put us under,” Pattis said. “There was nothing in the till.”
Fortunately, the Pattises have since learned that their insurance covers employee theft, and they have recouped some of the money that was taken.
Dozier is scheduled to appear in Rutland Criminal Court on Sept. 29. Pulsifer said she has been charged with one count of embezzlement, but that it could change to three counts, depending on what the Rutland District Attorney decides. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and/or up to $500 in fines per count.
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