July 24, 2013

Chelsea ex-selectwoman apologizes for lying to police

She testifies in her fraud trial that she signed papers related to her husband's business without reading them.

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BANGOR — At her trial on multiple federal fraud charges, former Chelsea selectwoman Carole Swan apologized repeatedly Wednesday for failing to tell the truth to deputies investigating the case and for failing to read loan applications and bank forms.

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Carole Swan

Betty Adams / Kennebec Journal

“I didn’t tell them all the truth and I’m very sorry for that because we wouldn’t be here today,” Swan told U.S. Attorney Donald Clark.

She also told him she was unsure whether she was an owner of Marshall Swan Construction, an earth-moving company that did almost $1.1 million in business with the town of Chelsea in 2006-2010 while she was a selectwoman.

Clark showed her documents she signed for vehicle loan applications at O’Connor GMC in Augusta and a bank account signature card opening an account at Cushnoc Bank (now Northeast Bank) in the names of Marshall Swan/Carole Swan doing business as Marshall Swan Construction.

“I’m very sorry I signed these things without reading them,” she said.

Swan, who is accused of 10 counts of federal fraud, including falsifying income tax returns in 2010 by failing to report $10,000 she said she received in kickbacks from Whitefield contractor Frank Monroe, testified that facing federal criminal charges no longer fazes her.

“There are things in my life that have changed my attitude, like having cancer,” she testified, without offering any details.

She said the prospect of being convicted would be minor.

“I’ve lived in prison. I can live in prison again.”

Swan testified that her husband was abusive, “controlling,” and “a monster.”

But she said he is wonderful to his customers and to the outside world.

Earlier Wednesday, Swan told jurors that she lied during her interview with sheriff’s deputies when she told them she had accepted bribes from Monroe for a long time and from Reuben Bartlett, who worked for another contractor.

“I’m sorry. I told them wrong,” Swan said. “It’s not the right thing to do.”

She said she wanted to end the interview quickly so she could contact her husband. She testified that she worried about being abused by him if she was out of contact for too long.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at badams@centralmaine.com.

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