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Press Release

Rebecca Armell Pleads Guilty To Credit Card Fraud

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Rebecca Armell, 46, of Shelburne, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge of credit card fraud.  U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss released Armell on conditions pending sentencing, which has been scheduled for May 1.

On December 2, 2019, the United States Attorney filed a one-count information charging Armell with access device fraud.  According to the information, in 2018, while employed at the Chimney Sweep in Shelburne, Armell misused the company’s Lowe’s credit card to obtain merchandise having a value in excess of $1000.  Armell pleaded guilty to that charge yesterday.

During yesterday’s court hearing, the government proffered that for 20 years prior to December 2018, Armell had worked at the Chimney Sweep – the last ten as a bookkeeper who had check-signing authority.  Beginning around 2016, Armell began stealing from the company.  She wrote checks to petty cash that she cashed and pocketed the proceeds.  She wrote checks to herself that she deposited, falsifying entries in the company’s books to make it appear the checks had been issued to fellow employees.  She also misused the company credit card to benefit herself, and charged personal automobile repairs to the Chimney Sweep account. In the aggregate, the losses may total around $290,000.

Armell faces up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.  The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service upon referral from the Shelburne Police Department.

Armell is represented by Brooks MacArthur.  The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

Updated January 14, 2020

Financial Fraud