Vermont tax worker charged with embezzlement, identity theft

WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Police have arrested a Vermont Tax Department worker who they say embezzled money from the state by altering a taxpayer's return.

Chelsea Hoadley

Chelsea Hoadley, 26, of Greensboro Bend, was arrested Tuesday. Vermont State Police say she has been under investigation for a month.

They say the probe was triggered when a Vermont bank notified the tax department of suspicious activity on an account controlled by Hoadley. Investigators say there were four improper deposits characterized as tax returns into the account, totaling $15,773.

The tax department immediately put Hoadley on leave and notified police.

Police say their investigation revealed that in 2018, Hoadley altered the 2012 and 2015 tax returns of a person she knew. They say the taxpayer didn't lose any money but was a victim of misuse of their identity. Police say there is no evidence that taxpayer was aware of what Hoadley allegedly did.

Despite this case, Vermont Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom says your personal data is secure.

"There was no data breach. There was no disclosure of taxpayer information. The activity that's alleged by the Vermont State Police, we've done a lot of research and that's really isolated," Samsom said.

Hoadley is charged with embezzlement and identity theft. She's due in court next week.

Samsom says the state is compliant with IRS Publication 1075 and they do criminal background checks on new employees. Hoadley had worked for the tax department since February 2016.