A New Hampshire man took advantage of an elderly woman’s limited cognitive availability to defraud her of large sums, court records say.
Nicholas Melanson, 41, of Manchester, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty in federal court in Vermont to one count of interstate transportation of a stolen check.
During the plea hearing, Melanson admitted to traveling from New Hampshire, where he lived and worked, to the residence of an elderly woman in Windsor five times between May 11 and May 19, 2022. Melanson was directed to transport the elderly woman from her Windsor home to one or more banks to conduct transactions, and to obtain checks from her.
Two checks were payable to Melanson, each for $25,000. Melanson deposited these checks into his bank accounts in New Hampshire, though ultimately the payments were stopped and any deposits were reversed.
Based on Melanson’s personal interactions with the elderly woman, he made various observations about her cognitive limitations, including that he believed she was not able to make informed decisions about large financial transactions without instruction from someone else. The attempted or completed financial transactions that Melanson facilitated or conducted for the elderly woman totaled at least $392,000, though many of the transactions were ultimately stopped or reversed.
Melanson was arrested in connection with this matter on September 29, 2022. He was released on conditions that day and remains on release pending sentencing. Melanson faces a maximum possible penalty of ten years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $250,000.