A former Chelsea selectwoman has pleaded not guilty to 17 federal charges, including extortion and tax fraud. Carole Swan and her husband, Marshall, were both released after pleading not guilty to the charges and were barred from contacting witnesses or victims in the case, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The couple was indicted Feb. 29 by a federal grand jury on 22 charges. Swan, who served as a selectwoman for 19 years, is accused of demanding $20,000 in kickbacks from Frank Monroe Construction in exchange for town plowing contracts. Swan also awarded Marshall Swan Construction, a company she and her husband owned, a nearly $400,000 town contract for a culvert project. The couple allegedly deceived town employees on the true cost of the project, which was paid for with Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, leading to fraud charges. They are also accused of underreporting their income on their taxes by $600,000 over a five-year period, and Carole Swan allegedly made false statements to get federal workers' compensation based on her previous employment with the U.S. Postal Service.
Carole Swan's lawyer said he plans to seek a continuance in the case to postpone the next court date. Both Swans face fines of up to $250,000, and Carole faces jail time of up to 20 years per charge, while her husband faces 10 years per charge, according to the paper.