• Charges dismissed against former Abenaki chief
    September 19,2013

    Charges dropped vs.

    former Abenaki chief

    ST. ALBANS — Embezzlement charges have been dropped against the former leader of an Indian tribe in Vermont.

    April St. Francis Merrill, the former chief of the Abenaki Missisquoi tribe, was accused last year of stealing $35,000 from the tribe through ATM withdrawals for grocery shopping, flower purchases, and the installation of a deck on her home.

    Court papers accused her of taking the money from tribal Christmas funds.

    Merill, who stepped down in January of 2012, had pleaded not guilty to three felony embezzlement counts.

    The charges were dismissed late last month.

    Prosecutors had dropped earlier charges against the former chief in 2011, when she was accused of exploiting an elderly adult whose financial records she was managing.

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