AP audit finds bookkeeper embezzled federal funds

Gisele Adams, ex-bookkeeper for Brault Mobile Homes in Colchester, Vermont, has been charged with embezzling more than $500,000 from her former employer. Her son, Joshua Therrien, and his girlfriend, Lynette Fuller, are also charged for the same crimes: forgery, conspiracy to embezzle and embezzling from a federal program. All three have entered pleas of not guilty.

Adams was first accused of embezzlement in September 2011 when Brault's owners noticed missing money, according to the Burlington Free Press. They then notified the Colchester Police Department and also provided them with paperwork. An accounts payable audit was conducted and the Inspector General's Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was brought in to work with local authorities after it was discovered that federal money had been stolen. The Free Press reports that Brault is eligible for federal funds under the Section 8 housing program and owns three mobile home parks throughout Vermont.

Adams first developed the embezzlement scheme in 2008, after she had been with Brault for several years. Another employee, Patrick Cortright, was in on the activity as well. Since being charged, he has pleaded guilty and has been acting as an informant in the hopes of having his sentence reduced, reports WCAX-TV.

Adams' son Joshua and his girlfriend Lynette joined in on the plot a year later. Adams would write checks from Brault's account to Cortright, Theirren and Fuller, or write the checks out to cash, prosecutors say. All of the checks totaled more than $225,000. Prosecutors also allege that Theirren and Fuller forged the owner's name on many checks.

Adams, Theirren and Fuller have all been released pending trial. The Free Press says that Magistrate Judge John Conroy agreed to a 90-day request from the defense to file motions.

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