Chandler charged with tax fraud

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BRATTLEBORO — A local resident has been arrested on allegations of tax fraud. Heidi M. Chandler, 43, of Brattleboro, was taken into custody on Wednesday.

On June 26, 2018, the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the Vermont Attorney General's Office and with the assistance of the Vermont Tax Department, began an investigation into Chandler for allegedly filing false state tax returns for the years of 2016 and 2017.

Police said the investigation revealed that Chandler had filed state returns for 2016 and 2017 with fraudulent W-2 documents and as a result received Vermont state refunds (combined) in excess of $4,500 for both years.

On Wednesday, March 13, she was located and arrested in Brattleboro by state police detectives. She was later processed and released on citation with the following charges: Two counts of false or fraudulent return, two counts of false pretense, two counts of perjury/false swearing. She was ordered to appear in Windham Superior Criminal Court in Brattleboro on March 26 to answer to the charges.

"We thank the Vermont State Police for its thorough investigation of this critical matter," Vermont Tax Department Commissioner Kaj Samsom said in a statement. "Tax fraud at the federal and state level is an ongoing concern. When fraudulent refunds are paid out, all taxpayers suffer.

"Here in Vermont, our fraud detection ability has increased exponentially over the last several years with help from the new Vtax system and the attention of our dedicated staff. By matching data with employers, the IRS, sister agencies and with other tools, we are able to detect and act on suspicious activity more rapidly and at a much higher rate than in the past," Samsom added. "This arrest is evidence that if a refund is obtained fraudulently, the Tax Department will work closely with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice, recoup any ill-gotten gains and seek appropriate financial penalties."

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