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March 14, 2019

Westminster Barracks / Tax fraud


STATE OF VERMONT 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY 

VERMONT STATE POLICE 


NEWS RELEASE 


CASE#: 18B103775 

TROOPER: Detective Lt. Eric Albright 

STATION: Westminster Barracks Troop B East Bureau of Criminal Investigation 

CONTACT#: 802-722-4600 


DATE/TIME: 03/13/2019 

LOCATION: Thayer Ridge Road, Brattleboro, VT 

VIOLATION: False or Fraudulent Return 2x counts, False Pretense 2x counts, Perjury/False Swearing 2x counts 


ACCUSED: Heidi M. Chandler 

AGE: 43 

CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Brattleboro, VT 


VICTIM: Vermont Department of Taxes 

CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Montpelier, VT 


SUMMARY OF INCIDENT: On 06/26/2018, the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the Vermont Attorney General's Office and with the assistance of the Vermont Tax Department, began an investigation into Heidi Chandler of Brattleboro for filing false state tax returns for the years of 2016 and 2017. 


Investigation revealed that Chandler had paper filed in 2018 (for 2017) and electronically filed in 2017 (for 2016), state returns with fraudulent W-2 documents and as a result received Vermont state refunds (combined) in excess of $4500.00 for both years. 


On 03/13/2019 she was located and arrested in Brattleboro by State Police detectives. She was later processed and released on citation with the following charges- False or Fraudulent Return 2x counts, False Pretense 2x counts, Perjury/False Swearing 2x counts. She was ordered to appear in Windham Superior Criminal Court in Brattleboro to answer to the charges on March 26, 2019 at 0830 hrs. 


"We thank the Vermont State Police for its thorough investigation of this critical matter," said Vermont Tax Department Commissioner Kaj Samsom. "Tax fraud at the federal and state level is an ongoing concern. When fraudulent refunds are paid out, all taxpayers suffer. 


"Here in Vermont, our fraud detection ability has increased exponentially over the last several years with help from the new Vtax system and the attention of our dedicated staff. By matching data with employers, the IRS, sister agencies and with other tools, we are able to detect and act on suspicious activity more rapidly and at a much higher rate than in the past," Samsom added. "This arrest is evidence that if a refund is obtained fraudulently, the Tax Department will work closely with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice, recoup any ill-gotten gains and seek appropriate financial penalties." 


COURT ACTION: Yes 

COURT DATE: 03/26/2019-0830 hrs 

COURT: Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, in Brattleboro  

LODGED – LOCATION: N/A 

BAIL: N/A 

MUG SHOT: Yes-attached


*Please note: Court date and time are subject to change at the discretion of
the court. Please call the criminal court clerk to confirm arraignment time.