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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

March 20, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Riverside Village Clerk Pleads Guilty in $50,000 Theft

Used Village Funds for Match.com

Former Riverside clerk-treasurer Kristina Johnson will do jail time and pay $50,000 in restitution after admitting Friday to repeatedly pilfering village coffers to pay for white water rafting and dating through Match.com, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today.

“Ms. Johnson used village funds to finance her entertainment and household expenses and went as far as stealing from taxpayers to pay for white water rafting and Match.com,” DiNapoli said. “I thank District Attorney Brooks Baker and New York State Police for their diligence in working with my office to bring this individual to justice.”

Johnson, 37, pleaded guilty in Steuben County Court to grand larceny in the second degree and is expected to be sentenced on June 23 to 60 days in jail, five years probation and $50,000 in restitution. Johnson was fired by the village in 2013 and subsequently moved to Kings Mountain, N.C.

“This case represents yet another in a recent sad epidemic of public trust violations,” Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said. “Our hope is that eventually folks, including Ms. Johnson, will get the message that public monies cannot be taken for personal use without consequences. With the cooperative efforts of village officials, the New York State Comptroller, the New York State Police and this office, the village will see restitution and the defendant the inside of a jail cell, making clear that this type of behavior will not go unnoticed or unpunished.”

Johnson’s misdeeds were detailed through an audit and investigation by the State Comptroller’s office. Auditors and investigators found that from 2008 to 2013 Johnson skimmed more than $35,000 in cash from village water and sewer payments and paid herself $40,000 in extra paychecks.

Her thefts were undetected because the village gave Johnson complete control of the payroll and other finances with no board oversight. DiNapoli urged the board to safeguard cash receipts and require the clerk-treasurer to provide detailed monthly financial reports.

For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/villages/2014/riverside.pdf

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, Investigations Unit, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

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