Man pleads not guilty to wire fraud in Brownville case

Posted Jan. 03, 2013, at 7:53 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Vermont man who worked with the town of Brownville to acquire federal grant money to expand his ammunition-making business entered a plea of not guilty to a wire fraud charge in U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon.

Craig Sanborn, 63, of Maidstone, Vt., allegedly misused funds paid to him by the town of Brownville for services and materials that were never purchased by him. Court documents allege he faked invoices for those services and materials and faxed them to the town office, thereby constituting wire fraud.

Sanborn appeared at the arraignment with his attorneys Thursday to enter a plea. He was released on personal recognizance bail with several standard conditions such as a restriction against international travel and not being allowed to carry a firearm or weapon.

Prosecuting attorneys were given a Jan. 17 discovery deadline.

“But I expect that deadline will be extended at some point to provide adequate time for us to file pretrial motions,” said defense attorney Leonard Sharon of Auburn.

Sanborn is charged with one count of wire fraud for devising a scheme to defraud and obtain money by false and fraudulent representations, according to court documents. He allegedly transmitted documents by wire in interstate commerce to help execute his scheme.

According to court documents filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey, Sanborn received four checks totaling $226,686 between October 2005 and October 2006 from the town of Brownville. Brownville had received $301,500 in Community Development Block Grant funding from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development on Aug. 23, 2005.

The grant was awarded to help the defendant and X-Ring Industries of Maine renovate Brownville’s rail terminal and establish an ammunition facility there. The prosecution’s case synopsis alleges that Sanborn created and faxed four “false and fraudulent” invoices totaling $257,210 to the Brownville town office in 2007 which did not come from the companies that allegedly billed Sanborn and were never actually paid by him.

Brownville disbursed additional Community Development Block Grant funds — $73,314 — to Sanborn, the synopsis reads, in January 2008. Sanborn allegedly endorsed the check made payable to X-Ring Industries of Maine, endorsed it, and deposited it into his bank account.

If convicted, Sanborn faces up to 20 years in prison along with a fine as high as $250,000, and he could be ordered to pay restitution.

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