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Old 11-07-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,595 times
Reputation: 606

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It seems like we are reading about 2-3 new embezzlement indictments per week coming out of Vermont. This is getting ludicrous.

Seems like one after another public agency official is brought up on charges of stealing from the coffers they are entrusted to manage. Pure unadulterated greed and arrogance

I can be the only one that finds this very disturbing, but not surprising given how lax many town agencies are.

Is Vermont just doing some great forensic accounting and other states are just turning a blind eye due to lack of resources? Is there a higher level of incidence in Vermont vs. other states?

What gives?
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:39 AM
 
1,135 posts, read 1,834,541 times
Reputation: 1571
Funny, but we just expect a bit more from our little state than to act like all the other states in the union. That's my take. You just hear more because it IS so small and such crimes are still viewed as a "big deal" to some of us. In big ciities it might be viewed along the same lines as a traffic ticket. At least people are tightening their budgets and actually notice this stuff for a change.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,595 times
Reputation: 606
I wouldn't say VT holds a higher standard vs. other states necessarily, it's nice to think so, but I don't think that is the main driver here. I also think town/city officials embezzling $25,000-200,000 will make the news anywhere in the US.

There have been a rash of embezzlement stories in VT over the past couple months.

If I were to venture a guess, I would say that modern oversight and accounting practices are catching up with some of the last public offices where one person has too much fiscal control to pass an audit.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:32 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,708,380 times
Reputation: 2253
Grrr now you got me started again! Dishonesty is RAMPANT and in fact the order of the day in Vermont and it goes all the way up to the level of our state agencies. Funny how the same officials will come down on you HARD for real or trumped up trangressions will fine you and/or your business to generate revenue for the Green Mountain state are themselves either corrupt or working with someone who is.

Montpelier doesn't give a hoot.
Keelan: Lawmakers give embezzlers a year
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:49 AM
 
400 posts, read 723,939 times
Reputation: 473
I can't remember for sure, but it seems like I heard TJ Donovan or something saying they were going to be looking into the books more closely this year. This might be a result of that, simply that there have been years of accumulated embezzlement crimes that are only now being caught.

The other factor that I'm sure of is that the economy being in the dumps is playing a huge part in it. When times were going alright it was a lot easier to hide this. When your checks flat out bounce it obviously can't be covered up anymore! There is probably also closer oversight in some cases that is happening simply because the budget it tight and people are looking more closely at funds in an effort to find areas to save...and then they notice things are off.

I sadly cannot say I'm super surprised at the amount though. There are a lot of small towns in Vermont where one or two people doing all the book keeping and no one else really seems to look to closely at it. And small town politics ensures that in many cases some one's brother or friend gets the jobs...ignoring whether they are competent or even trustworthy. I'd imagine many of them start out "borrowing" a little money during a tight time in their life and then it snowballs until there is no way they could ever pay it back. Some of them I've read about just boggle my mind though...with them buying houses, cars and vacations. Did they think that would go unnoticed forever or that they'd die before it caught up with them or something?

The solution of course is increased oversight. You're never going to get that money back when its in some of these sums. If you catch them early though you can toss them out before they do a ton of damage.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,595 times
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Another day and another couple stories in the BFP about embezzlement cases.... $173K here, $200K there.....eh, what's a couple hundred grand bilked from taxpayers.......
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,149 times
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There was a great article in our local paper today about this issue. It was written by Tom Salmon, so it may be in some other papers as well. The recent totals are in the millions according to the article. The recent embezzlement cases involve municipalities, the state, utilities, food co-ops, schools and private businesses. This is a huge issue, worse than many previously thought. We live in a state that has this impression that everyone is trustworthy and honorable. That is typically how the problems start. People will take advantage of a situation if they know that no one will check on them. Tom makes a great point, we need to have appointed certified professionals with procedures in place. We are now electing people who are not getting the job done. The article ends with a Edmund Burke quote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,595 times
Reputation: 606
Since I started this thread a while back, I obviously feel there is a sad behavior I think many folks may have suspected but never wanted to accuse without good reason.

Vermont has a trusting nature among fellow long standing Vermonters (and a 180 degree different view of outsiders…….and for many reasons some valid, some contrived). That trusting nature combined with the opportunity to abuse power has lead to unfortunate betrayals of trust by predominantly public officials. While this happens in private companies as well, the “pain” or impact is usually limited to the folks affiliated with that small company.

With abuse by public officials, the impacted parties are technically all taxpayers of that area etc. That usually drives more widespread outrage over the breech in trust and what can usually be considered a significant character flaw in the people perpetrating the crime

Sad, very said. While many Vermonters struggle to pay their bills and live a happy life, some appointed officials feel they are above working hard for a living and more egregiously some help themselves to taxpayer money they are not entitled to.

Horrible……
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:26 PM
 
166 posts, read 385,632 times
Reputation: 112
Looks like we are number one.

Vermont leads the list of highest risk states for embezzlement according to a new study of major embezzlement cases.

Vermont tops list of high-risk embezzlement states, security consultant firm says | Burlington Free Press | burlingtonfreepress.com

I also find it sickening that the woman responsible for VT's largest known government embezzlement gets the minimum sentence. She should have been given the max to set a example.

Joyce Bellavance sentenced to 3.5 years for $1.6M embezzlement | Burlington Free Press | burlingtonfreepress.com

I bet there is a insane amount of embezzlement out there currently and could only imagine how much people have gotten away with. Most of this is probably hardworking Vermonter's tax dollars.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,149 times
Reputation: 925
Just say this on the news!
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