FORMER QUEEN CITY WOMAN SENT TO PRISON FOR
DEFRAUDING LONDONDERRY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Michelle L. Cote was sentenced today to a term of twenty-seven months in prison for defrauding a Londonderry construction company for which she worked, according to United States Attorney John P. Kacavas. Cote was sentenced by United States District Judge Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr. Cote, is a former resident of Manchester, N.H.
In an earlier guilty plea to federal charges of mail and wire fraud, Cote admitted to defrauding her former employer by, among other things, writing checks against her former employer’s checking accounts and using those checks to pay personal credit card expenses, without her employer’s authorization or knowledge. She further admitted that, without authorization, she used credit card accounts issued to her employer and its principals to pay personal expenses, including substantial expenses associated with renovations to her home and for a cruise and family trip to Florida. Cote admitted, in one instance, to opening a new credit card account in the name of one of the principal owners of her employer and then using that credit card account to purchase furnishings for home, all without the authorization or knowledge of the owner. Cote admitted that the transactions resulted in a loss to her employer and its principals of between $120,000 and $200,000.
In rejecting her request for leniency at today’s sentencing hearing, Judge DiClerico noted that Cote had a “dishonest bent” and presented a significant risk of recidivism. He also noted that Cote had “abused a position of trust” reposed in her by her former employer and had “siphoned off” money from her former employer simply to “satisfy her greed.” In addition to imposing the twenty-seven month term of incarceration, Judge DiClerico ordered Cote to make full restitution to her former employer and other victims of her offenses and, after completing her prison term, to serve three years of supervised release. While on supervised release, Cote will be required to abide by certain specified conditions, including paying any remaining restitution. If she fails to abide by those conditions, she could be sent back to prison.
The investigation leading to this prosecution was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Morse.