September 20, 2017
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Ex-Chelsea selectwoman accused of tax fraud claims she is illiterate

PORTLAND, Maine — A former town selectwoman’s inability to read and write will be part of her defense when fighting tax fraud and worker’s compensation charges in Maine.

Carole Swan, of Chelsea, testified this week during a suppression hearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor that she’s functionally illiterate.

Attorney Leonard Sharon says his client’s inability to read will be a “fact of significance in her defense.” He says, for instance, that Swan couldn’t have known her husband’s tax returns understated his income because she couldn’t read the form and have a full understanding of his taxes.

Swan is facing federal extortion charges for allegedly accepting kickbacks from a town road contractor, in addition to charges of tax fraud and making false statements to obtain worker’s compensation payments.


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