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Weare woman sentenced for embezzling Social Security and veterans benefits

A Weare woman has been sentenced to 13 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $52,000 in Social Security and veterans benefits.

Heidi Lacerte stole the funds from 23 people while she was employed at the Office of Public Guardian, a nonprofit that serves hundreds of legally incapacitated people across the state, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office. According to court documents, the 48-year-old woman embezzled funds that had been paid to her office and placed in an account where they could be used for clients’ medical and financial needs.

Court documents show Lacerte was an estate manager for the office and took the funds over eight months in 2010 using three methods: writing herself checks from the beneficiaries’ accounts, purchasing gift cards using money from beneficiaries’ accounts and taking cash from the beneficiaries’ accounts.

Lacerte was arrested and pleaded guilty in November 2012. She’s been free on bail since then, but was ordered to report to prison and start serving her sentence April 12.

Under her plea agreement, Lacerte also agreed to pay $55,000 in restitution and be supervised for three years after her release.

TRICIA L. NADOLNY

Legacy Comments1

JUST 13 MONTHS! This is an outrage, And How will she pay back the 55,000? To steal from the very people she was hired to protect is a crime that should have been rewarded with 13 years at hard labor. That's right , sorry I forgot, we don't send convicts to hard labor anymore, guess that is cruel and and unusual punishment. So now she will get 3 squares a day, a roof over her head and tons of free time in the day room courtesy of the NH Taxpayer. Only in America!

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