Winhall’s former wife returned to prison | Local News

BURLINGTON — A former Winhall woman, who served 3 years in federal prison for obtaining about $1.6 million in bogus loans from five financial institutions, including the Bank of Bennington, is returning to prison.

Alison Gu, 46, now of Cheshire, Connecticut, was sentenced to 10 months in prison in US District Court in Burlington on Tuesday afternoon for violating her federal probation terms by committing two new crimes – in another case of fraud.

Judge Christina Reiss dismissed the pleas for clemency, citing Gu’s continued dishonesty and deceit as she tried to avoid being held accountable for her latest actions. Reiss said Gu’s conduct was similar to behavior that led to his criminal convictions on multiple charges in 2017.

The judge cited Gu lying in court and having one of her sons lie for her on the witness stand in the new case. Reiss also noted that Gu created fake or fake emails for his federal probation officer and the court. The judge said Gu used one of the fake identities from his Vermont bank fraud case to pull off the latest fraud in Connecticut.

Assistant US Attorney Michael Drescher argued during the 90 Minutes hearing that Gu should be returned to federal prison for 20 months because of her attempted manipulative conduct.

He said Gu’s conduct merited more than the 6 to 12 months offered in the federal sentencing guidelines, which are advisory.

Reiss debated whether Gu should be taken into custody immediately, but agreed to a request from the defense to give him a short period to get his affairs in order.

Defense attorney Mark Oettinger said a little extra time would allow him to meet with his therapist.

Drescher said she was late to return to prison.

Reiss agreed to give Gu until September 27 to report to federal prison.

The US Probation Office in Brattleboro has alleged Gu wrote a worthless check and robbed on October 13, 2021 in Cheshire, Connecticut, when she had more than $2,300 worth of plumbing work done at her home. home, according to court records.

She also committed new criminal offenses of tampering without oath and falsifying public documents on July 23, 2020 in Merrimack County, NH, the probation office said.

Gu had called a local pumping company on Saturday, July 17, 2021, when water stopped flowing at his residence in Cheshire, Connecticut, records show. A pump technician responded to the 34-second voicemail message from Aly Ling, one of Gu’s known aliases, the government said. The technician went with a colleague to the residence at 7 Edith Place, and after determining that a pump needed replacing, Ling/Gu ordered the work done, according to court records.

Gu claimed her credit card wouldn’t work, so she asked for a week to pay, which was denied and she eventually provided a start-up check for $2,342.48, records show. The government is keeping the check bad, and subsequent attempts to contact her by phone, email and regular mail elicited no response, officials said.

A certified letter was sent, but returned as “unclaimed” and the company, Barlow Pump & Supply, then notified the Wolcott, Conn. Police Department.

Pump technician Justin J. Rinaldi, business owner Jeremiah Weid and Wolcott police detective Rocco Longo were among those who testified in May about the fraud.

Gu has tried to delay various hearings in her case, and Tuesday was no different. She noted she was taking advice, but Reiss said the case dragged on long enough.

Gu said she returned 1-2 months ago to the Connecticut pump company – a statement that seemed to catch some off guard. Drescher said it was the first time he and likely others had heard of it.

He noted that she was under a court order to make restitution, but Reiss said little was paid.

Drescher said Gu did not take full responsibility because she said she brought her son with her to the pump shop and apologized to him.

After the hearing, business owner Weid said restitution for Bennington Banner was made and that Gu brought his son and asked him to apologize.

The Vermont Fraud

On November 7, 2017, a jury in federal court in Burlington convicted Gu, who uses at least nine aliases listed in the indictment, of committing bank fraud between 2013 and 2015.

The jury also convicted Gu on two other counts: of making a false statement on a U.S. passport application in St. Albans in March 2015, and of aggravated identity theft also in March 2015.

Gu used the social security numbers and birth dates of two young children who had been killed, including one shot in California many years ago, according to court documents.

Gu, a mother of three adult children, was eventually sentenced to 3 years in prison, followed by 3 years of federally supervised release. Reiss also ordered Gu to return $107,118 to the Bank of Bennington and ordered the forfeiture of an additional $109,104.

Court records show that no money was paid by Gu for the restitution order, but she did pay the assessed $300 in court costs.

The jury deliberated less than two hours after the week-long trial.

Then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Doyle, in his closing arguments, said Gu stumbled because she couldn’t keep her stories straight.

It provided a roadmap through the elaborate maze that Gu attempted to use to hide his identity and obtain bank loans.

“One person, two identities, three crimes,” Doyle told the jury.

“She’s very good at playing with the system,” said Doyle, who is now a U.S. magistrate judge for Vermont.

The indictment states that Gu devised and executed a scheme to defraud Bank of Bennington, First National Bank of America, Prime Lending, Discover Home Loans and Emigrant Mortgage Company to obtain funds by submitting mortgage loan applications containing fake news.

A house, funded by the Bank of Bennington, stood at 389 Read Farm Road in Dorset, records show.

The Bank of Bennington has started foreclosure proceedings on the Dorset home. Doyle said testimony revealed that Gu showed up two weeks before her criminal trial to try to redeem the property by paying a $10,000 deposit.

Doyle noted that Gu visited the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Nashua and Manchester on February 20, 2015, and obtained driver’s licenses in two names. For one photo, she had her hair up, while she had it down for the other.

He said she also ordered four fake IDs showing she was at Johnson State College, including as a professor and a student.

The indictment specified that the false information included misrepresenting Gu’s identity and altering bank statements.

A co-defendant, Matthew Abel, 45, from Montpellier, pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges a month before his trial. The Montpelier native, who was listed in court documents as Gu’s boyfriend, was later sentenced to six months in prison.

Abel and Gu had shared homes in Winhall and Cheshire, Connecticut, where authorities say they found substantial incriminating evidence during a raid in June 2016.

Doyle held up two embossed seals belonging to out-of-state judges that were found in the Connecticut home. Fake driver’s licenses, other fake records and credit cards were seized.

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