News and Press Releases

Patrick Cortright Pleads Guilt to Mobile Home Dealership Embezzlement; Alleged Co-conspirators Plead Not Guilty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2012

Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Patrick Cortright, 32, of Milton, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge of federal program embezzlement. U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III released Cortright on conditions pending sentencing, which has been set for December 3. Today, three other persons who have been indicted separately in the case -- Gisele Adams, 54, of Burlington; Joshua Therrien, 28, of Grand Isle; and Lynette Fuller, 24, also of Grand Isle, pleaded not guilty to the charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy. All three defendants were released on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

On March 22, 2012, a federal grand jury in Burlington returned a five-count indictment charging Adams, Therrien and Fuller with conspiracy, federal program embezzlement, forgery and making false statements. On May 3, 2012, the U.S. Attorney filed an information charging Cortright with federal program embezzlement. All of the charges stem from the alleged embezzlement of nearly $600,000 from Brault's Mobile Homes, Inc. of Colchester over a three-year period between 2008 and 2011. According to the charges, Cortright and Adams, both employees of Brault's, began stealing cash from the company in about 2008 and used the money to buy prescription pain-killers. Therrien and Fuller assertedly joined the conspiracy no later than 2009 and, in 2011 alone, together received more than $220,000 in unauthorized checks drawn against Brault's checking account. Therrien and Fuller are also accused of lying to the Burlington Housing Authority about their income in applications for housing benefits. Each year between 2009 and 2011, Brault's, which sells manufactured homes and runs several mobile home parks in northern Vermont, received more than $10,000 in federal housing subsidies for tenants in the parks.

The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to ten years of imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000. The actual sentences would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines. Cortright faces the same penalties.

This case was investigated by the Colchester Police Department and the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Cortright is represented by Lisa Shelkrot; Adams by Norman Blais; Therrien by Brooks McArthur; and Fuller by Bud Allen. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

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