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Sons, mothers charged in fraud; Alleged scheme bilked dozens.

Byline: Craig S. Semon

WEBSTER - A local mother and son who allegedly participated in an elaborate larceny scheme in which they ripped off scores under the pretense they were representing the state police have implicated another mother and son as accomplices, and all four of them are facing 151 larceny charges each.

Cindy L. Carpenter, 53, of 6 May St., and her son, Jason R. Fontaine, 34, of 151 School St., Apt. 3, are charged with more than 100 counts of larceny under $250, nearly 50 counts of larceny under $250 committed against people 60 years old or older or disabled, two counts of larceny over $250 and a single conspiracy count. The two were arranged yesterday in Dudley District Court. A status hearing is slated for April 12.

Warrants have also been issued for Deborah Anderson, 61, and her son, Christopher Anderson, 31, both of 2294 Providence Road, Northbridge, for the same charges facing Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Fontaine.

In addition, the Andersons are facing an additional 40 counts of larceny, as well as charges related to using an association name without authority, the same charges Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Fontaine both were originally charged with in November.

In the fundraising solicitation scam, the four allegedly opened business accounts at two banks, according to police. People collectively donated more than $11,339.50, believing they were giving to a legitimate organization working on behalf of the Massachusetts State Police Association and the police-run Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. All of the money was used by Mr. Fontaine and Ms. Carpenter for their own use and was never donated, according to police.

In August, Police Sgt. Thomas V. Ralph was contacted by John Nutter, the security officer at Hometown Bank, relative to an account under the name "MSPA." It was determined that MSPA. was an abbreviation for "Massachusetts State Police Association." Trooper Timothy Babbins, vice president of the Massachusetts State Police Association, told Sgt. Ralph the association does not solicit money from individual people, and the only approved entity to solicit on the association's behalf is the "Constabulatory."

The initial investigation found the Hometown Bank account, under the name of Ms. Carpenter, d/b/a MSPA, had approximately $2,405 deposited via checks made out to MSPA or Massachusetts State Police Association, or the DARE program. Sovereign Bank records showed similar deposits of about $905, for a total amount deposited of $3,310.

In her original police interview, Ms. Carpenter said if she and her son were going to be charged, then police also needed to charge Ms. Anderson and her son, according to the police report.

In January, Sovereign Bank found additional suspect accounts, opened in Ms. Anderson's name, with approximately 151 checks processed through them totaling approximately $7,295. This made the total amount allegedly solicited under false pretense and converted by the four people as $11,339.50. The sum includes $734.50 in overdrafts from Hometown Bank.

Ms. Anderson told police neither her son nor Mr. Fontaine had good credit so they asked her to open up the account for them. She also said she was told the two men intended to turn the money over to the Northbridge police. Furthermore, Ms. Anderson said she would sign up to 10 checks at a time and leave them for her son and Mr. Fontaine, police said.

Victims of the alleged scam live in Ashland, Douglas, Dudley, Franklin, Leicester, Northboro, Medway, Needham, Norwood, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Southboro, Spencer, Walpole, Westboro, Webster and Worcester, according to Webster Police.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 2, 2012
Words:588
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