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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

August 8, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Almond Treasurer Took $22,000 in Fire Department Funds

Police Charge Former Treasurer with Grand Larceny

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the arrest of former Almond Volunteer Fire Department Treasurer Sally Dieter for allegedly stealing $22,000 in cash by pocketing fundraising proceeds and writing numerous checks to herself.

Dieter, 40, was arraigned in Almond town court charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony. DiNapoli’s office uncovered missing funds during an audit and investigation of the Almond Fire Department, located in Allegany County, and worked with local law enforcement to determine the extent of the fraud. Dieter is due back in court on September 8.

“This individual violated the trust of her neighbors by taking money donated to promote the safety of their community,” DiNapoli said. “This arrest serves as a wake-up call to volunteer fire departments statewide: Keep an eye on your cash. Donors rely on you to safeguard and use contributions appropriately. My office will continue to work with law enforcement statewide to root out public corruption and hold wrongdoers accountable. I thank the New York State Police and Allegany District Attorney Keith Slep for their diligent work on this case.”

The audit, released today, found from 2009 through 2013, Dieter failed to make $18,500 in deposits for fundraising proceeds, wrote herself a check for $1,500 and made unsubstantiated withdrawals from department accounts for $2,000.

DiNapoli recommended department officials:

  • Recover the missing funds identified in the report;
  • Develop and include internal controls in the department’s bylaws to help ensure that all cash receipts − including fundraising receipts − are properly recorded, accounted for and deposited;
  • Ensure all cash disbursements are independently approved prior to payment and supporting documentation is properly maintained; and
  • Annually audit the treasurer’s records.

For a copy of the audit, visit:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/firedists/2014/almond.pdf

DiNapoli’s office works to fight corruption and the misappropriation of public funds at every level of government. His anti-corruption initiative has led to more than 50 arrests and $7 million in restitution in 2013 and 2014 alone.

DiNapoli encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.state.ny.us, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

 

 

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