AUGUSTA — A Winthrop woman who worked for the state was convicted Friday of theft by deception for illegally collecting state benefits for her family over a four-year period.

Crystal Hodsdon, 33, was employed during that time, first as an eligibility examiner and then as a disability claims examiner in the South Paris office of the Department of Health & Human Services. Her attorney said that job ended after the investigation started.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell, said the state paid out $109,003 in benefits to Hodson on behalf of her family during that time.

As a disability claims examiner, she earned more than $40,000 a year, according to records published on

According to the indictment, the offense occurred between May 1, 2009-April 30, 2013, in Kennebec and Oxford counties. Hodsdon was accused of creating or reinforcing “the impression that her two minor children were living with her most of the time, which impression was false and which (Hodsdon) did not believe to be true.” The benefits were received through the MaineCare Program, which is administered by the state DHHS.

Documents filed in court say she claimed the two children lived with her five or six days each week when they really were there only on weekends.

Hodsdon was convicted by Justice Daniel Billings at the close of a bench trial in Kennebec County Superior Court. Hodsdon also was acquitted of a misdemeanor count of theft by deception. That accused of her illegally accepting benefits Jan. 19-Feb. 16, 2010, from the Low Income Housing Assistance Program through the Maine State Housing Authority.

“Crystal is extremely disappointed in the court’s verdict because she believed she was entitled to the benefits she received,” said her defense attorney, James T. Lawley. “In the coming weeks we will be meeting to discuss her next steps.”

Lawley said restitution would be determined at a sentencing hearing, which is set for December. Hodsdon remains free on bail. The charge carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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