She stole $1.6 million from the public
and now an office manager is heading to jail.
Joyce Bellavance was sentenced Tuesday
to 3.5 years behind bars as part of a plea deal on federal wire fraud and money
laundering charges. Bellavance embezzled from the Hardwick Electric Department.
Prosecutors say she spent the money on a condo in Boston, a luxury SUV and
paying bills for her daughters.
The theft went on for ten years before
the electric department caught on.
Along with the jail time,
Bellavance was ordered to pay back $1.1 million to Hardwick Electric and
$500,000 to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. The government is also
working to seize assets funded by Bellavance's crimes, including her Hardwick
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