Jury Deliberating Fate of Former Chelsea Selectwoman Accused of Extortion, Fraud
The fate of a former Chelsea selectwoman accused of extortion, fraud and tax evasion is now in the hands of a jury. 55-year-old Carole Swan is on trial in Bangor on 10 federal charges. After nearly three weeks of evidence and 130 witnesses, the case was handed over to the jury about 2:45 p.m. Friday. Swan’s accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor while she served as a selectwoman.Prosecutors say she also inflated the cost of road projects awarded to her husband’s construction business, failed to report almost $700,000 in income and lied about workers’ compensation benefits.Swan’s lawyer claims she was an abused wife who only followed the orders of her husband, Marshal Swan.In closing statements Leonard Sharon told the jury Swan didn’t intend to defraud the government, saying “You can’t convict a person for a mistake.”He added, “One woman didn’t overturn a democracy. This isn’t Chechnya, it’s Chelsea. I hate to use this term, but it’s similar to a witch hunt.”Assistant U.S Attorney Donald Clark told the jury, “This case is about money and if you follow the money it goes right back to Swan.”He also talked about how Swan went on vacations by herself, as proof she wasn’t being held against her will by her husband.He said, “If she walked out, she could get out. Members of the jury: she had options.” Carole Swan’s trial is only dealing with the fraud charges. She’ll face another trial for the extortion charges. Marshall Swan is being tried separately.