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Weare woman accused of stealing from employer more than 500 times over three years

A Weare woman stole money from her employer more than 500 times over a three-year period, according to charges filed in Concord’s U.S. District Court. Renee Pelletier is accused of withdrawing nearly $85,000 in total by forging checks and also by making payments on her own debts through the company’s online banking account.

Pelletier has been charged with bank fraud, and she has filed paperwork at the court that indicates she intends to plead guilty. Her lawyer, Jonathan Cohen, stressed that the plea won’t become final until it’s approved by a judge at a formal hearing, but the attorney declined to elaborate on whether Pelletier planned to back out of the agreement.

According to the plea deal, Pelletier worked for Modern Excavation and Development from June 2008 to August 2011. The company is owned by Christopher Dunn of Merrimack, according to documents filed with the secretary of state’s office. A number listed for Dunn is disconnected.

While employed there, Pelletier was in charge of maintaining a ledger of the company’s finances as well as “reconciling” its checking account at St. Mary’s Bank, according to court documents.

Pelletier is accused of making hundreds of illegal transactions without her boss’s knowledge including:

∎ forging his signature on 161 checks made payable to herself, totaling $32,504.

∎ forging his signature on 53 checks made payable to “Cash,” totaling $10,345.

∎ forging his signature on 101 checks made payable to people she owed money to, totaling $21,343.

∎ using St. Mary’s online banking system 233 times to pay her own debts, totaling $19,103.

While Pelletier is facing a prison sentence of up to 30 years, prosecutors have recommended that she be sentenced to the minimum period of incarceration. A judge could also order her to pay restitution to her former employer. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Kinsella declined last week to talk about the case or Pelletier’s possible sentence.

A phone number listed for Pelletier on business documents filed with the secretary of state’s office is now disconnected. The Monitor was unable to reach her for comment.

A plea hearing, where the agreement Pelletier has signed with prosecutors would be reviewed by a judge, has not yet been scheduled.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or
tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @tricia_nadolny.)

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