2011-12-05 / Front Page

Brunswick woman convicted of fraud

BY BETH BROGAN Times Record Staff


A 40- year- old Brunswick woman who stole nearly $ 60,000 in food stamps and child care reimbursement benefits over five years was convicted Wednesday of three counts of theft by deception and unsworn falsification.

Sarah E. Fairbanks, 40, of 467 Durham Road, Brunswick, was convicted Wednesday after a two-day jury trial in Cumberland County Superior Court, according to a release from Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider.

Fairbanks was convicted of three counts of theft by deception and unsworn falsification after stealing nearly $60,000 in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( food stamps) and Child Care Development Fund Voucher Program (CCDF) from January 2005 through May 2010, according to Schneider.

“Fairbanks falsely reported to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that she was separated from her husband and living alone with her children and repeated this claim in written applications in order to qualify for and keep her benefits,” a release from Schneider’s office states. “In fact, Fairbanks was living with and receiving support from her husband. The income she reported was at least 70 percent lower than her actual household income.”

The date of Fairbanks’ sentencing was not immediately available today.

In a separate case, a Cumberland County grand jury indicted Fairbanks in July 2010 on a Class B charge of felony theft after Brunswick police said she allegedly withdrew more than $11,000 that was mistakenly deposited into her TD North bank account.

TD North officials notified Brunswick police that she allegedly withdrew the funds that were mistakenly deposited, and then closed her account, Brunswick Police Sgt. Martin Rinaldi said at the time.

Fairbanks entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor theft after paying restitution in full, Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan said today.

She was convicted Oct. 29, 2011, according to Brunswick Police Lt. Mark Waltz. Fairbanks’ sentence in that case was not available at press time today.

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