action:article | category:NEWS03 | adString:NEWS03 | zoneID:67
March 18. 2013 2:04PM

Weare woman stole $52,000 from disabled residents

CONCORD - A Weare woman, hired to manage the finances of disabled New Hampshire residents, will spend 13 months in federal prison for stealing $52,000 of their Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits.

According to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas, Heidi Lacerte, 48, pleaded guilty in November 2012 to embezzling the money. She was sentenced Friday and, upon release, is to make $55,000 in restitution - $4,810 to the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) and $50,210 to American States Insurance Co.

Lacerte was employed as an estate manager for the OPG, a private nonprofit corporation that provides guardianship and advocacy services to hundreds of legally incapacitated adults in the state, including those with developmental disabilities, mental illness, dementia and traumatic brain injury.

According to court papers, she handled the finances for the disabled individuals and embezzled $52,000 from 23 individuals, using the money for her own benefit.

Lacerte admitted to embezzling the money by writing checks to herself drawn against beneficiaries' funds; purchasing gift cards using money from the beneficiaries' accounts, and taking cash intended for the disabled beneficiaries and using it for her own benefit and that of others.

The thefts took place at a time when Lacerte and her husband were building a home. According to documents filed by her attorney, James Moir of Concord, the contractor stole money from their construction loan and the couple had to take out a second loan to pay the subcontractors. It left them with the inability to pay other expenses.

Lacerte, a mother of three, kept the family's dire financial circumstances from her husband and, as the embezzlement took place, sought treatment for anxiety and depression, according to Moir.

The attorney, in arguing for a lighter sentence, said Lacerte had always held down a job. He said the embezzlement was an aberration for Lacerte, a first-time offender.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigation, and Concord police. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold H. Huftalen.


 Upcoming Goffstown events

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

 
Arts & Entertainment
Family, Community and Culture
Outdoors, Sports and Recreation

Contact Information

The Goffstown News
100 William Loeb Drive
Manchester, NH 03109

Circulation
Neighborhood News publications can be found at a newsstand near you here.

Ph: 603-206-7800
Fax: 603-206-7801

News, Obituaries, & Social Announcements
editor@yourneighborhoodnews.com

Sports
sports@yourneighborhoodnews.com

Henry Metz, Managing Editor
hmetz@yourneighborhoodnews.com
Ph: 603-206-7817

Advertising
Email ads to art@yourneighborhoodnews.com
Classified advertising: 603-669-1010
Display advertising: 603-206-7800 x264

Rate card | Ad Order | Credit application

Calendar Listings
Please use our online form at www.nh365.org

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!