November 20, 2013

Three Maine women indicted separately on theft charges

By BETTY ADAMS Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — A Mount Vernon woman is accused of embezzling more than $10,000 from Hannaford supermarket in Gardiner, and two other women from Clinton and Winthrop have been indicted on charges they defrauded public assistance programs.

Those indictments and others were handed up Friday by a Kennebec County Superior Court grand jury.

An indictment does not determine guilt, but that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.

Reta A. Patterson, 43, has been indicted on a charge of theft by unauthorized taking, which accused her of stealing more than $10,000 from the supermarket between Nov. 1, 2012, and May 13. She is scheduled for a hearing in Kennebec County Superior Court next week, and her attorney, Lisa Whittier, said Tuesday that Patterson intends to plead not guilty. She said Patterson worked at the supermarket for more than 20 years and was a bookkeeper there.

Eric Blom, spokesman for Hannaford Supermarkets, referred all questions about Patterson to law enforcement authorities, saying it was an issue before the courts.

Wendy S. Dow, 43, of Clinton is charged with one count of theft by deception and five counts of unsworn falsification related to such programs as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, the Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment Program and the MaineCare program. According to the indictment, the deception resulted in a theft in excess of $10,000 between April 1, 2009, and June 30, 2012 when Dow claimed — falsely, according to the state — that she had no income.

Dow also is accused of signing written documents on five dates between Oct. 13, 2010, and April 27, 2012, claiming she had no income and that she had a child, now 15, living in her household.

A phone number for Dow was not in service on Tuesday. According to a court clerk, Dow will be summoned to court to respond to the charges.

In a separate indictment, Crystal Hodsdon, 32, of Winthrop was indicted on two counts of theft by deception. In one charge, Hodsdon is accused of receiving benefits from the MaineCare program worth more than $10,000 between May 1, 2009, and April 30, 2013, by claiming her two minor children lived with her when they did not. Hodsdon too will be summoned to court. No phone contact or lawyer was available for her.

In the second charge, she is accused of receiving benefits from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Jan. 19-Feb. 16, 2010, by falsely claiming her two minor children lived with her.

Betty Adams — 621-5631badams@centralmaine.comTwitter: @betadams

 

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