The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Jennifer Dwyer, 49, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was sentenced today in federal court on one count of wire fraud arising out of the embezzlement of approximately $2.2 million over a ten-year period from her Lyndonville employer, Northeast Agricultural Sales, Inc. (“NEAG”). U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Dwyer to 51 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Reiss also ordered that Dwyer pay restitution in the amount of $2,221,079.47.
According to court records, NEAG is a family-owned and operated business established in 1987 with locations in Lyndonville, Vermont and Detroit, Maine. Dwyer was hired at NEAG in 1998, eventually serving as NEAG’s bookkeeper for more than ten years. As bookkeeper, her responsibilities included customer billing, handling company accounts, and managing NEAG’s payroll system. Between 2007 and 2017, Dwyer embezzled approximately $2,221,079.47 from NEAG through unauthorized electronic transfers of funds from NEAG’s payroll account to her personal checking account. Dwyer used the misappropriated funds on on-line gambling and to pay personal debts and expenses.
As part of her plea agreement with the government, Dwyer agreed to apply several assets (or her share of those assets) toward restitution. These assets included a 2013 Cedarcreek Silverback Camper, a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado, a 2003 Chevrolet Commercial Silverado, and a 2013 Yanmar tractor. The government also forfeited a 2015 GMC Sierra truck. Under Dwyer’s agreement with the government, she further paid the value of her interest in her St. Johnsbury residence—$57,387.75—toward restitution. Dwyer also voluntarily turned over the proceeds of the sale of a Sea Doo watercraft. In total, these assets resulted in $84,621.70 for victim restitution. Before she reports to the Bureau of Prisons on March 24, 2020, Dwyer is expected to pay an additional several thousand dollars towards restitution derived from the liquidation of a life insurance policy and investment account.
United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan noted: “Jennifer Dwyer repeatedly stole thousands of dollars at a time over ten years as a trusted employee of Northeast Agricultural Sales. The sentence today reflects the devastating impact her decade-long $2 million embezzlement had on this family-owned Northeast Kingdom business. The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to the prosecution of significant frauds that impact Vermont businesses and families.”
“Today’s sentence represents the FBI’s commitment to investigating fraud cases,” said Anna Holden, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent in Charge of the FBI Albany Field Office’s Burlington Resident Agency. “Jennifer Dwyer broke the law and betrayed the trust of her employer, and now she will face the consequences of her actions. The FBI will continue to investigate those who commit fraud for personal gain to ensure that they are brought to justice.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation in this matter, with assistance from the Lyndonville Police Department.
This prosecution was handled by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Doyle. Jennifer Dwyer is represented by Natasha Sen, Esq. of Middlebury.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.