Former East Longmeadow Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud on Retirement Community and Tax Charges
BOSTON – A former East Longmeadow woman pleaded guilty yesterday in District Court in Springfield to wire fraud, money laundering and tax charges.
Alice Lacroix, 53, pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud, eight counts of money laundering and two counts of filing false tax returns. Lacroix, who was charged in November 2014, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27, 2015.
In a fraud scheme that lasted from 2011 through February 2013, Lacroix embezzled funds from her employer, Bluebird Estates which is a retirement living community in East Longmeadow. Lacroix, as manager of Bluebird Estates, took rent checks paid by tenants as well as other checks and property belonging to her employer. Additionally, Lacroix established a bank account without authorization in the name of Bluebird Estates into which she deposited the embezzled funds. During the course of the scheme, Lacroix deposited $325,000 into this fake Bluebird Estates bank account and engaged in financial transactions designed to disguise the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme. Lacroix would deceive her employer through emails that provided false information about the rent payments she took. Lacroix also submitted false income tax returns for the years 2011 and 2012.
The maximum sentence under the statute for each count of wire fraud is 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for each count of money laundering is 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine. The maximum sentence under the statute for each count of filing false tax returns is three years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and East Longmeadow Police Chief Douglas Mellis made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Alex J. Grant of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Unit.