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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dennis Crawford Imprisoned For Financial Exploitation Of Ward

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Dennis Crawford, 48, who now lives in St. Johnsbury, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Rutland to 18 months of imprisonment following his guilty plea to a charge of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Geoffrey Crawford also ordered that Crawford serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term and pay restitution of more than $77,000. The court ordered Crawford to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on August 1 to begin serving his sentence.

Last December, a federal grand jury returned a three-count superseding indictment charging Crawford with wire fraud, mail fraud and credit card fraud. According to the indictment and other court records, in April 2015, Crawford was appointed power-of-attorney for his elderly step-father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other illnesses. Under the terms of the power-of-attorney, Crawford was permitted to make financial decisions on his step-father's behalf. After acquiring the power-of-attorney, Crawford placed his name on bank accounts his step-father held. According to court records, between June and August 2015, Crawford transferred approximately $150,000 from his step-father's bank accounts to accounts controlled only by Crawford. Crawford used much of this money to buy several vehicles for himself and family members, as well as furniture and other household items. Crawford also used other funds in his step-father’s accounts to pay Crawford’s bills, and used his step-father’s credit card to make personal purchases. In August 2015, the Vermont State Police learned Crawford may have been abusing his step-father and started an investigation. Crawford's power-of-attorney was revoked, and in November 2015, Crawford was charged in state court with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The state charge was dismissed when the federal grand jury returned its indictment.

Although Crawford eventually repatriated $130,000 to his step-father’s accounts, the victim still suffered out-of-pocket losses totaling more than $77,000.

This case was investigated by the Vermont State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Crawford is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender David McColgin. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated June 23, 2017