Former tax department employee pleads guilty to stealing $16k from state

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A former Vermont Tax Department employee pleaded guilty to stealing money from the state in a Washington County courtroom Friday morning.

Chelsea Hoadley pocketed nearly $16,000 after altering tax documents of a lifelong family friend, without that person’s knowledge. She will serve no jail time, but will be required to serve 90 days of home confinement as well as 3 years probation.

Hoadley originally pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement and identity theft back in January, but changed that plea Friday. Prosecutors say Hoadley altered the 2012 and 2015 tax returns of someone she knew and made several deposits to a personal account. Hoadley then used the funds to pay online bills and write herself 8 checks.

In court Friday, her attorney said she was overcome with financial trouble and made a poor decision. If the state can’t be reimbursed the 16 grand through insurance, Hoadley will be required to pay it back herself.

“You had control over money that belonged to the state of Vermont and through your employment, you converted the money that didn’t belong to you and was not your own property to your own personal use,” said Judge Mary Morrissey.

Hoadley is due back in court in January for a restitution hearing.

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