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Press Release

Northfield Man Charged with Wire Fraud for Embezzling $560,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

Burlington, Vermont – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that John Van Vught, 72, of Northfield, Vermont, was arrested on Friday, May 12, 2023 in Brunswick, Georgia. Van Vught is expected to have his initial appearance later today before a United States Magistrate Judge in Brunswick, Georgia.

According to court records, on May 11, 2023, the federal grand jury in Burlington, Vermont returned a three-count wire fraud indictment related to Van Vught’s embezzlement of $560,000 from ValleyNet, a non-profit operating in the Upper Valley. Van Vught performed contract accounting work for ValleyNet between 2010 and July 2022. During that timeframe, Van Vught transferred $560,000 out of ValleyNet’s accounts into his personal bank account. Van Vught hid the transfers by underreporting the income ValleyNet received according to his accounting submissions. Van Vught also obfuscated his possession of the embezzled funds by purchasing properties in Georgia and Florida.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an indictment contains allegations only and that Van Vught remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime. Van Vught faces a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment on each wire fraud count. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt. Van Vught has not yet retained or been appointed counsel.


Media Inquiries/Public Affairs Officer:

(802) 951-6725

Updated May 15, 2023

Financial Fraud