Dead Ex-College Official Had Embezzled Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars

MONTPELIER, Vt. (February 22, 2013)—A former Vermont college official who was found dead in his home had embezzled more than $400,000 over the last few months, prosecutors said.

Hours after federal prosecutors accused former acting Southern Vermont College President James Beckwith of embezzlement, he was found dead in what evidently was a suicide.

State police said Beckwith was found dead Wednesday at his Londonderry home.

Investigators said his injuries were consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

An autopsy was ordered.

Prosecutors allege Beckwith took $440,000 between October 2012 and January, using some of it to pay down two mortgages.

No criminal charges had been filed against Beckwith, but the U.S. attorney's office had filed a civil complaint involving his home and bank account.

Beckwith was the chief financial officer of the small liberal arts college in Bennington, Vt.


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