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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Catherine McKinney Pleads Not Guilty To Large Law Firm Embezzlement

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Catherine McKinney, 61, of Hartland, pleaded not guilty today in United States District Court in Burlington to federal fraud charges. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released McKinney on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled. According to court records, on June 17, 2015, a federal grand jury in Rutland returned a three-count indictment charging McKinney with mail and wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen money. The indictment alleges that, beginning no later than 2008 and continuing until early 2015, McKinney embezzled at least $690,000 from her employer, Myers Associates PLLC, a law firm in Lebanon which represents clients in both Vermont and New Hampshire. According to the indictment, McKinney wrote law firm checks to herself and to her creditors on which she forged the signature of her attorney employer. She deposited more than $90,000 in forged checks into her Vermont bank account. McKinney allegedly also caused electronic transfers of firm funds to pay her obligations, including large credit card bills. The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty. If convicted, McKinney faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of more than $1,000,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines. This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.

Updated July 27, 2015