Saturday, May 25, 2013
The trial of former Chelsea selectwoman Carole Swan and her husband, Marshall Swan, on fraud charges has been specially set for July 8.
Staff file photo by Joe Phelan
Staff file photo
A notice fixing the trial date for the Swans was entered in the case on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. It says jury selection will begin at 9 a.m. July 8 in federal court in Bangor, with trial to being immediately afterward. Trial dates run through July 26, beginning daily at 8:30 a.m.
Walter McKee, attorney for Marshall Swan, had sought to postpone the trial from April to July 2. He filed a document in court saying that both he and Carole Swan's attorney, Leonard Sharon, need the intervening time to prepare for the estimated three-week-long trial.
McKee's request also said the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark, did not object to the delay. The trial was then moved to July 8.
"We all realized the jury wouldn't be too keen on the July 2" date since it was near the Fourth of July holiday, McKee said.
The court record indicates scheduling was discussed in a telephone conference among the attorneys and Judge John A. Woodcock Jr.
Carole Swan, 54, was indicted a year ago by a federal grand jury on a number of charges, including three counts of extortion, which the judge ruled would be severed from the other counts and tried separately.
In the remaining counts, Swan is accused of making false statements to obtain federal worker's compensation from 2008 through May 2011 by failing to disclose "her ownership interest and her active participation in the operation of Marshall Swan Construction and a harness horse racing business," and underreporting her hours worked as a Chelsea selectwoman.
On the worker's compensation applications, Swan wrote, "I cannot work. I do not work. I can not even clean my own house or Blow Dry my hair."
Documents obtained by the Kennebec Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show Swan collected about $50,000 a year during that time in worker's compensation for a right shoulder-upper arm injury she suffered while employed by the U.S. Postal Service in November 1997. The government is seeking repayment of $150,000.
She and her husband, Marshall Swan, jointly face allegations they cheated on their federal taxes for the calendar years 2006 through 2010 by failing to report a total of more than $676,000 in additional income.
They reported a total income of $2.5 million in gross receipts or sales during those years on their joint income tax returns.
At a pretrial hearing, Carole Swan testified that, with the exception of names and numbers, she could not read or write. Sharon, her attorney, has said that claim will factor into her defense at trial.
Woodcock already ruled that Carole Swan's trial on three counts of extortion will be held separately. She was accused of seeking kickbacks from a town contractor, Frank Monroe, of Whitefield, on three separate occasions between January 2010 and February 2011. A date for that trial has yet to be set.
Betty Adams — 621-5631