Merrimack firm’s bookkeeper admits to bank fraud

A bookkeeper working for a small Merrimack-based excavation firm diverted more than $83,000 of the company’s money for her personal purposes and has agreed to plead guilty to bank fraud in exchange for a reduced sentence, according to a plea agreement filed last week in U.S. District Court in Concord.Renee Pelletier, who was responsible for maintaining the books at Modern Excavation and Development LLC, admitted to forging the owner’s signature on St. Mary’s checks 315 times and diverting money by using St. Mary’s online banking system on another 233 occasions to divert the money to herself, to cash or to third parties to which she owed money between June 2008 and August 2011, according to the agreement, which was signed by Pelletier, her attorney Jonathan Cohen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kinsella.Although Pelletier faces a maximum penalty of 30 years, the agreement calls for her to serve the minimum term under sentencing guidelines. The guidelines for bank fraud of that amount ranges from 18 to 24 months.Cohen declined comment, only to say that his client was presumed innocent until she entered an actual guilty plea herself in court. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for March 28.Kinsella referred calls to the U.S Attorney’s public relations spokesperson, who did not return phone calls at deadline. Attempts to reach Pelletier were unsuccessful.The plea agreement and the accompanied information filing about the charges would only identify the owner of Modern Excavation as “Chris.” According to records at the Secretary of State’s office — the latest filed in July 2012 — Christopher Dunn is the registered agent of the company and had moved the company from Amherst to a Merrimack house owned by a Dunn trust sometime before April 2012. Several phone numbers associated with the company and the Dunn family were disconnected, and the company does not appear to have an active Web address. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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