April 24, 2014

Woman charged with embezzlement from Roadside Marine

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By Marianne Apfelbaum
Observer staff

A former employee of Roadside Marine in Williston was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after allegedly embezzling more than $27,000 from the company.

Sara Slattery, 26, of Essex, was arrested by Williston Police as she was returning from her lunch break at Lang Associates in Burlington, where she had been working as a receptionist for the past week.

Police say Slattery was recently “let go” from her bookkeeping position at Roadside Marine because she wasn’t showing up for work. The company’s owner, Tony Brisson, was subsequently “reviewing his books” police say, when he discovered that a $5,000 check had been made out to Slattery.

Brisson did not return a phone call from the Observer seeking comment.

Police say Brisson notified them six weeks ago about the check, and asked that they investigate. Officer Randall Tucker said police “had to wait for an inquest subpoena” before they could review her bank records, which took about three weeks.

Police received the records Tuesday, and Tucker said they discovered Slattery had written more than $27,000 in checks to herself in less than 6 months.

“In August alone, she wrote over $16,500 in checks,” Tucker said.

Police determined that Slattery was working at Lang Associates, and called her to ask her to come into the station for questioning. Tucker said she agreed to come to the station at 1 p.m., but didn’t show up. She called at 1:40 p.m., and told police she was “busy at work but had called her former boss and they had agreed to work things out.”

Police called Brisson, who denied having spoken with Slattery. Police went to Lang Associates and waited for Slattery to return from lunch. She was arrested in the parking lot and brought to the Williston Police station for processing, Tucker said.

Tom Heney, Vice President of Operations for Lang, said Slattery was hired as a receptionist and had “been with us about a week.” Heney said she “disappeared at the lunch hour,” and he didn’t know why she had been arrested. “We don’t have any formal comment,” he said.

Slattery, who police said “has a previous history of fraud,” was taken to the Chittenden County Regional Correctional Facility on $5,000 bail after being charged with embezzlement and uttering a forged instrument. The latter charge stemmed from Slattery writing checks and signing Brisson’s name without authorization, according to Tucker.

Slattery was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday to face the charges.

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