Errol Woman Convicted Of Making False Statements To The U.S. Department Of Agriculture
CONCORD, N.H. – United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice announced that on January 26, 2017, a jury found Suzanne Brown, age 51, of Errol, New Hampshire, guilty of twelve counts of making a material false statement to a federal agency in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2), after a five-day trial in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire.
The trial began on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 and ended with the jury’s verdict on January 26, 2017. The guilty verdict means that the jury found that on twelve occasions Brown made false statements and representations in documents submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). Brown, acting as Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Agriculture and Forestry (“NHIAF”), submitted documents certifying that NHIAF had paid thousands of dollars to employees for services rendered. These statements were made in order to draw down funds from a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant. The statements were false because NHIAF had not paid the employees for their services. In nine of the twelve submissions to the USDA, Brown created fraudulent invoices purportedly prepared by one or more employees outlining the services they performed and money they were owed.
Brown’s sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Joseph N. LaPlante is scheduled for May 11, 2017.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Seth Aframe and Georgiana Konesky. Former Assistant United States Attorney Nick Abramson previously was involved in the matter.