GOFFSTOWN, NH – Renee Crawford, the now former assistant vice president of finance at Saint Anselm College, allegedly created a fake company and used it to charge the school for more than $40,000 in services that were never rendered.
Now Crawford is set to plead guilty on Monday to a federal charge for stealing from a program that receives federal funds.
The charge stems from the fact that the Benedictine college in Goffstown, like most colleges, participates in federal financing programs and receives grants from the Department of Education.
Crawford was charged earlier this month in the United States Superior Court in Concord. She allegedly created a company called NH DESIGNZ in January of 2019 and billed the college $20,000 for logo design work that never took place.
After the college issued the check to the company, she picked it up herself rather than mailing it, as was standard practice. According to the plea agreement filed in court, Crawford filed for a trade name for the business with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office that same day she picked up the check. A couple of days later she opened a bank account for the business, and later deposited the check into the business account, according to the plea agreement.
Crawford did it again in 2020, three times billing the college for work done by NH DESIGNZ. She took a total of $44,000 through this scheme, according to the plea, and used the money for personal expenses.
Additionally, Crawford used her college-issued credit card for things like family vacations and theme park tickets, according to the plea agreement. Crawford reportedly created fraudulent receipts and invoices to justify these expenses.
Crawford’s attorney, Richard Guerriero, declined to comment ahead of Monday’s plea hearing. College representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
Crawford is facing a maximum of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, under the terms of the plea agreement, she will serve six months house arrest and spend two years on probation. She will also be required to pay the school more than $66,000 in restitution.