Former Woodstock businessman accused of not paying restitution

  • Hendler

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 7/29/2019 10:22:37 PM

BURLINGTON — A former Woodstock business executive who was jailed and also ordered to make more than $550,000 in restitution for a series of fraud cases is back in trouble with federal authorities who say he failed to follow his supervised conditions of release.

Paul Hendler, 47, who now lives in South Hero, Vt., also is facing a state criminal charge of sexual assault on a Winooski, Vt., woman. He pleaded innocent to the felony charge when arraigned in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington last month

The sexual assault charge also is part of the four new allegations in federal court that Hendler failed to abide by the court-imposed conditions when sentenced to 27 months in prison in the fraud case in 2015, records show.

Federal authorities also maintain that Hendler failed to make proper restitution of at least 10 percent of his gross monthly income until the victims are paid, records show. Hendler also is accused of preventing the probation office access to his financial records and failing to properly report to his federal probation officer, records show.

Hendler is due to face U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy in federal court in Burlington on Aug. 20.

Hendler, in his request for a state public defender, reported he was self-employed and made $37,500 last year.

Judge Martin Maley denied the request for the lawyer at taxpayer expense.

Hendler, a founder of JavaPop Inc., referred questions Monday to Burlington lawyer Jessica Burke.

“Paul is looking forward to clear his name in both the state and federal charges,” Burke said. She said it was early in preparing a defense.

Sexual assault case

Police said the Winooski woman reported she had briefly been involved with Hendler, but ended the relationship by Jan. 1.

She said she had Googled Hendler’s name and learned he had been involved in a major fraud prosecution and went to prison, the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations, a multi-agency task force based in Burlington, reported. She also said she learned Hendler was considerably older than she had been led to believe.

The woman said she later accompanied Hendler and a friend of his to a Burlington bar on Jan. 31 where they watched football on TV. She said they then went to a Burlington restaurant for dinner, but remembers nothing beyond going to the bathroom.

The woman said the next thing she recalled was waking up naked in her bed in Winooski the following morning, her apartment door locked and her keys missing, a court affidavit said. CUSI reported she said she did not drink enough to pass out.

When she confronted Hendler, he reportedly said he had locked her in for the night and took her keys, the police affidavit said. When the woman later asked if they had sex, she said Hendler responded, “Oh, we had sex, but don’t worry, when we were done I turned you over onto your stomach so you didn’t choke on your own vomit,” the affidavit said.

Burlington Police Cpl. Rene Young, who is assigned to CUSI, said the woman “was not in any physical or mental condition to consent to sexual activity and she had also had a conversation with Hendler about ceasing” their relationship, court records show.

Fraud cases

In the 2015 case, federal Judge J. Garvan Murtha had sentenced Hendler to 27 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised by release. He also ordered Hendler to make $555,244 in restitution to his various victims.

A federal grand jury indicted him in January 2012 on 14 counts, including mail and wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen money, forgery and engaging in monetary transactions involving more than $10,000 of criminally derived property, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

At the sentencing, the court ordered Hendler to pay full restitution to the victims named in the indictment along with several additional frauds he committed after the charges were filed.

Hendler founded JavaPop in 2005, and the management of the company, which manufactured carbonated coffee-based drinks, was based in Woodstock.

Hendler swindled a New York City doctor by persuading him to make a $140,000 investment in JavaPop under false pretenses in 2005, the indictment said.

Hendler never turned the money over to JavaPop but instead used $56,000 of the doctor’s money to help him buy a home on Orchard Hill Way in Woodstock.

Hendler was fired from JavaPop in December 2008 and later worked for — and defrauded — Green Mountain Digital of Woodstock, records show.

Mike Donoghue can be reached at vermontnewsfirst@gmail.com.




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