Federal prosecutor: Chelsea couple should spend more time behind bars for lies

Carole Swan (left) in September.
Brian Feulner | BDN
Carole Swan (left) in September.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 05, 2014, at 5:34 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Chelsea couple awaiting sentencing on federal charges should serve extra prison time because one of them lied on the stand about being an abused wife and the other paid two men to shoot up equipment owned by the tipster who told police he was paying bribes to a town official, a federal prosecutor said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark accused Carole Swan, 55, and Marshal Swan, 56, of obstructing justice during their separate trials last year. The prosecutor did not say in his 34-page sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday in federal court in Bangor how long each should be incarcerated.

Their sentencing dates have not been set. Both Swans remain free on bail.

Marshall Swan was found guilty by a jury in October on five counts of tax fraud for knowingly underreporting the income from his construction business to the IRS between 2006 and 2010 by nearly $650,000.

Carole Swan was convicted in July of the same tax fraud counts and two counts of workers’ compensation fraud. A selectwoman in Chelsea for 19 years, she was found guilty in September on three counts of extortion.

The federal prosecutor said in his sentencing memo that four days after the couple was indicted by a federal grand jury Marshall Swan paid two men $200 to vandalize equipment at the home business of Frank Monroe construction in Whitefield in retaliation for Monroe going to police about Carole Swan’s extorting him.

“Marshall vigorously denies these allegations,” his attorney Walter McKee of Augusta said Wednesday in an email.

“We will certainly file a timely response and look forward to having the confidential informant testify under oath so we can assess that person’s credibility in open court,” Carole Swan’s attorney Leonard Sharon of Auburn said Wednesday. “That is how our system of justice is fashioned.”

Monroe went to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office in 2011 to report that he had paid Swan nearly $10,000 to keep a plowing and sanding contract with the town. He testified at her trial that Carole Swan told him to overbill the town for sand and then pay her the $10,000 overpayment.

On March 4, 2012, Monroe reported that eight tires on two trucks parked in the driveway of his home had been slashed, the federal prosecutor wrote. The door windows of two excavators that were parked at Frank Monroe Construction had been smashed with some sort of projectile, such as a pellet fired from an air rifle or a BB fired from a BB gun.

Marshall Swan was questioned by law enforcement about the incident but said he had been with a relative and at a restaurant that night, the court document said.

Fingerprints on a small flashlight led the FBI to the now deceased William Dalrymple in New Hampshire who lived with a man who is referred to in the prosecutor’s memo as a confidential witness. He was interviewed by FBI agents in October 2013.

The confidential witness told agents that a few weeks earlier he had met with Marshall Swan in the garage of his home in Chelsea.

“During that meeting, Marshall told the [confidential witness] that he and Swan were staying together at her sister’s house, and that the whole thing in court with the abuse and them not living together was a show,” Clark said in the memo.

Sharon and McKee are expected to file sentencing memorandums in the next few week.

Originally, the Swans were to be tried together on the tax and workers compensation charges with Carole Swan being tried in a second trial on the extortion charges. U.S. District Judge John Woodcock severed their trials after Carole Swan alleged she had been abused by her husband for year.

Jurors in the first trial rejected her contention that she was justified in breaking the law due to the alleged abuse at the hands of her estranged husband. Through his attorney, McKee, Marshall Swan has denied the abuse. He has not been charged with domestic violence assault.

In her second trial, jurors rejected Carole Swan’s claim that she was taking $10,000 in cash from Monroe, whom she believed was offering kickbacks to elected officials so she could take evidence of his wrongdoing to the Kennebec County district attorney.

Carole Swan faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the extortion convictions. She also faces up to three years in prison on the tax fraud charges and up to five years for workers compensation fraud.

Marshall Swan faces the same penalty his estranged wife does on her tax fraud convictions — up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 plus back taxes, interest and penalty payments.

Swan and his wife, Carole Swan, owe more than $145,000 in income and self-employment taxes, not including penalties and interest, according to the prosecutor.

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/05/news/augusta/federal-prosecutor-chelsea-couple-should-spend-more-time-behind-bars-for-lies/ printed on August 20, 2014