Jury Deliberates for 9 Hours in Chelsea Selectwoman Fraud Case

Updated 1 year ago

After a three week trial, a jury has decided the fate of a former Chelsea selectwoman accused of extortion, fraud and tax evasion.Carole Swan, 55, faced 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. Nine hours later, the jury found Swan guilty of five counts of making false statements on a tax returns from 2006-2010. The jury also found the 55-year-old guilty of making false statements to obtain more than $1000 worth of workers’ comp benefits in 2008 and 2010. She was found not guilty on similar charges in 2011.The 12 jurors also found the former selectwoman not guilty of obtaining more than $5,000 from a local government program receiving more than $10,000 in federal funds for more than year.These charges come after Swan was accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor while she served as a selectwoman.Prosecutors said 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.” This trial only dealt with the fraud charges. She’ll face another trial for the extortion charges. The judge released Swan on an unsecure bail. Clark had no comments after the case, while Swan’s attorney said “I’m disappointed, but I’m also realistic.”Marshall Swan is being tried separately in October.


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