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Additional charges filed against former law school dean

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP), March 26, 2004 - The federal government has filed additional charges against Anthony N. Doria, the founder of Vermont Law School in South Royalton and a former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

Doria was indicted in November by a federal grand jury on one count of mail fraud and four counts of transporting stolen property.

Doria, 76, was charged with defrauding Barbara Umbrecht, a Newport, N.H., widow, of more than $115,000 through a phony investment scheme in which he promised to invest her money but instead converted it to personal use.

On Wednesday a grand jury added six counts of money laundering to the indictment.

The new indictment alleges that Doria obtained a check from Umbrecht in 1998 that he converted into checks and cash at a credit union. He did so through six transactions "each time obtaining a smaller bank check from the credit union and cash," the U.S. attorney's office said.

The office of U.S. Attorney Peter Hall said Friday that if convicted, Doria faces a maximum of 145 years in jail and a fine of $4.2 million.

In November, Umbrecht's lawyer, Lisa Wellman-Ally of Claremont, N.H., described Umbrecht, a homemaker, as "very vulnerable" after her husband Wallace died in 1998. "She didn't even know what she had for assets," and began selling off personal possessions to raise money to support herself, the attorney said.

Umbrecht met Doria when she sold him a refrigerator and he soon gained her confidence, getting her to grant him power of attorney, getting her to sign over checks and other items of value. He talked her into selling stocks and investing in his financial company, Wellman-Ally said.

Doria is the founder of Vermont Law School, Vermont's only school granting law degrees. He also ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1986, losing to former Gov. Richard Snelling who then lost to incumbent Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy. Doria had been a candidate against Republican incumbent Sen. Robert Stafford in 1982, but dropped out before the primary.

Attempts to reach Doria were unsuccessful. He has been appointed a public defender.