Department News

Suspect arraigned, re; Tyngsborough town hall tax theft

Press Release from District Attorney’s office

Dracut Woman Arraigned in Connection with Alleged Theft from Tyngsborough Finance Department.

TYNGSBOROUGH – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Tyngsborough Chief of Police Richard Howe have announced that Nancy Dutton, 56, of Dracut, was arraigned on Monday, September 25th, in Middlesex Superior Court on five counts of larceny and one count of money laundering in connection with the alleged theft of approximately $250,000 from the Tyngsborough Finance Department while she was employed as an Assistant Tax Collector and Deputy Tax Collector for the town. Dutton is being charged in connection with alleged thefts that occurred between 2011 and 2017 under the statute of limitations. However the alleged amount of money believed to have been taken is approximately $450,000 since 2004.

Magistrate Matthew Day released the defendant on personal recognizance.  The next scheduled hearing in this case is October 31, 2017.

In May of 2017, the defendant was asked by her employer to locate a series of back-up documents to verify a set of transactions from July of 2016. The defendant allegedly did not produce the back-up records and proceeded to leave work early.

As a result, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police and Tyngsborough Police Department began investigating accounting irregularities that were discovered by members of the town hall’s financial staff.

Through their investigation, authorities learned that the defendant had allegedly been keeping two sets of records, one set that accurately reflected the tax collections taken in by the town and submitted to state tax collectors, and a second set of internal records that were created to conceal the shortages in the bank deposits.

When town residents would come to the Tax Collector’s Office to pay their taxes in cash, the defendant allegedly would take the cash for her own personal use and then make false entries into the agency’s books. A review of the defendant’s personal bank records show a series of cash payments that were allegedly used to pay off credit card debts and for personal purchases. The amount of money deposited during this period exceeded the income that the defendant was receiving from her government job, which was the defendant’s sole employment.

The defendant is also alleged to have laundered money by depositing funds into another person’s account, which the defendant had signatory authority over.

In June of 2017 Ms. Dutton was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Doug Cannon.