Two Former Employees Indicted in Connection with Stealing Nearly $200,000 from Buzzards Bay Water District
BARNSTABLE – A former treasurer and a former technician from the Buzzards Bay Water District have been indicted in connection with stealing nearly $200,000 from the agency, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Caitlin Rocheleau, age 35, of Forestdale, and John Ethier, age 28, of Buzzards Bay, were indicted on Friday by a Barnstable County Grand Jury on the charge of Larceny Over $250 (one count each). They will be arraigned in Barnstable County Superior Court at a later date.
“We allege that this former treasurer and technician of the Buzzards Bay Water District abused their positions with this public agency to steal money,” said AG Healey. “Our office will continue to hold accountable public employees who exploit their positions and defy the public’s trust.”
After an initial investigation by the Inspector General’s Office, the matter was referred to the AG’s Office who began an investigation in June 2015.
“When my Office began its investigation, the defendants were actively engaged in an ongoing scheme to steal from their employer,” said Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha. “I am pleased that we were quickly able to work with the Attorney General’s Office to stop the defendants and protect public money.”
The Buzzards Bay Water District is a public agency that provides water to approximately 2,500 residents of the district for home usage and fire protection.
Rocheleau worked as the treasurer and clerk for the Buzzards Bay Water District from her appointment in 2009 to July 2015. As treasurer and clerk for the Water District, Rocheleau was responsible for overseeing the agency’s finances including the budget, payroll and weekly expenses. She had the authority to issue checks on behalf of the agency and had access to the agency’s vault.
Ethier worked as a technician for the Water District from January 2013 to July 2015. As a technician for the Water District, Ethier’s duties included operating and maintaining the district’s pumping stations and other equipment.
Authorities allege that Rocheleau used her position as treasurer to steal approximately $198,000 from the Water District from approximately April 2014 to June 2015 by writing checks to herself and to Ethier in addition to their weekly paychecks. Authorities allege that Ethier and Rocheleau used this stolen money to purchase Percocet illegally.
These charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Erika Anderson of AG Healey’s Public Integrity Division. The investigation was conducted by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and Investigator Michelle Silva, of AG Healey’s Financial Investigations Division.