MICHELLE RUTLEDGE PLEADS GUILTY TO TWO CENTRAL VERMONT EMBEZZLEMENTS
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Michelle Rutledge, 47, of Berlin, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Brattleboro to a charge of wire fraud. District Judge J. Garvan Murtha released Rutledge on conditions pending her sentencing, which has been set for May 15.
According to the information to which she pled guilty, for more than a dozen years Rutledge served as the office manager and bookkeeper for the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury. For about two years, she also served as the treasurer for the Harwood Youth Hockey Association. Between June 2007 and June 2013, Rutledge embezzled substantial sums of money from the cider mill by using company credit cards without authorization and causing electronic transfers of cider mill funds to pay personal bills and expenses. She also stole substantial sums from the Harwood Hockey Association by using credit cards without authorization and by paying personal bills with checks drawn against the Hockey Association checking account.
As part of her plea agreement, Rutledge consented to the entry at sentencing of a forfeiture money judgment in an amount to be determined by the court.
Rutledge faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence will be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.
This case was investigated by the Vermont State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Rutledge is represented by Brooks McArthur. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.