July 24, 2013

Judge rules against ex-Chelsea selectwoman in fraud case

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

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Swan's term expired in June 2011. She had been arrested and charged previously but refused to resign from her seat.

Published records show that Swan -- then Carole Jean Blodgett -- is a 1976 graduate of Gardiner Area High School. Her photo is among the seniors in the 1976 Quill, the high school yearbook, as well.

She also holds a Maine driver's license, which is acquired after a written examination and a road test.

Separate trial

In a related ruling made public Friday, Kravchuk recommended a separate trial for Carole Swan on the three charges of Hobbs Act extortion.

That would allow Swan to testify about her claim that she was conducting her own investigation into contractor Frank Monroe, Kravchuk wrote.

"There can be little question but that the government will subject Carole Swan to cross-examination concerning her alleged sting operation if she testifies," Kravchuk wrote, "and that if the other charges were joined in the same prosecution, Swan might well forgo her defense on the extortion charges to avoid the risk of incriminating herself on the other charges."

However, Kravchuk also recommended that Carole and Marshall Swan be tried together on the remaining fraud charges.

"We are carefully reviewing the decision and expect to appeal the recommended decision," said Walter McKee, the attorney representing Marshall Swan. McKee had sought a separate trial for Marshall Swan.

Leonard Sharon, the attorney representing Carole Swan, did not respond to a request for comment on the suppression decision.

The Swans have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Carole Swan faces three counts of Hobbs Act extortion related to dealings with Monroe (the Hobbs Act covers extortion or robbery that affects interstate commerce); five counts of tax fraud and false statements, allegedly for failing to report $600,000 in income to the Internal Revenue Service over a five-year period; fraud involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency for work Marshall Swan did on a Windsor Road culvert project; and four counts of making false statements to gain federal employee compensation.

At one point, she worked for the U.S. Postal Service at the Gardiner Post Office.

Marshall Swan faces the same five counts each of tax fraud and false statements and of aiding and abetting fraud on a program receiving federal money.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631

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