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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hudson real estate agent pleads guilty to welfare fraud

By DEAN SHALHOUP
Staff Writer

NASHUA – Aimee N. Venturini, a Hudson resident and real estate agent who pleaded guilty last week to one count of felony welfare fraud, will apparently avoid prison time but must pay back at least some of the $20,000 she admitted to collecting fraudulently.

The exact amount that Venturini, 37, of 5 Demery St., will be ordered to pay in restitution has yet to be agreed upon, Judge Jacalyn Colburn said Thursday at Venturini’s plea hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court South. ...

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NASHUA – Aimee N. Venturini, a Hudson resident and real estate agent who pleaded guilty last week to one count of felony welfare fraud, will apparently avoid prison time but must pay back at least some of the $20,000 she admitted to collecting fraudulently.

The exact amount that Venturini, 37, of 5 Demery St., will be ordered to pay in restitution has yet to be agreed upon, Judge Jacalyn Colburn said Thursday at Venturini’s plea hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

The amount, and other conditions of the plea agreement, will be set forth at Venturini’s sentencing hearing, which Colburn set for 11:30 a.m. Nov. 7 in the Nashua court.

In the meantime, Venturini’s attorney, Jeffrey Odland, and the prosecutor, Assistant County Attorney Kent Smith, will each come up with a recommendation on the amount that Venturini should be ordered to repay.

That could range anywhere from as little as $1,500 – the statutory minimum – up to the roughly $20,000 in medical and food stamp assistance benefits that Venturini fraudulently obtained from the state.

Odland disputed the prosecution’s contention that Venturini unlawfully received medical benefits during the time frame in question, which Colburn duly noted.

The case is actually Venturini’s second accusing her of illegally receiving state benefits, according to Smith’s account of her history.

She was initially indicted in February 2015 on one count of felony welfare fraud, accusing her of obtaining benefits in excess of $1,000 between Oct. 20, 2011, and Feb. 28, 2013, by falsely reporting to the state Department of Health and Human Services that she didn’t reside with her husband.

She pleaded guilty and was ordered to make restitution, the exact amount of which is not included in court documents.

Venturini was in the process of paying the restitution, Smith said, when it was discovered that she was again obtaining state benefits unlawfully, this time by reporting she was unemployed “when she was in fact employed by ReMax Dynamic Realty or ReMax Properties,” according to the indictment handed down in October 2015.

The time frame given in the indictment begins March 1, 2013 – the day after the end of the time period in the previous indictment – and runs through Sept. 6, 2015.

The sentence that Venturini is expected to receive in November is a term of two to four years in state prison, all suspended for five years, provided she remains on good behavior and adheres to the restitution plan to be agreed upon, according to the sentencing sheet filed in court.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.