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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

March 4, 2016, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Prior Justice Clerk Sentenced in $63,000 Theft of Court Fines

The former Ellery Justice Court Clerk, who was fired for stealing court fines, was sentenced today to five years prohibition and full restitution of $63,636 in Chautauqua County Court, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Sharon Thompson, 56, of Bemus Point, pleaded guilty to grand larceny last June and agreed to pay full restitution. The missing money was uncovered in an audit and investigation by DiNapoli’s office.

“Ms. Thompson pocketed 10 percent of the court’s fees for years,” DiNapoli said. “This was a crime that was easily prevented. Checks and balances are a cornerstone of good government, no matter how small the office. I thank Acting District Attorney Patrick Swanson and his staff for their diligent work on this case.”

“I’d like to thank the State Comptroller’s Office for their efforts,” Acting District Patrick Swanson said. “They assisted our office throughout the investigation and prosecution of this matter. We’re satisfied with the disposition as the Town of Ellery is going to be made whole and Ms. Thompson will be a convicted felon, hopefully never being able to commit such offenses again.”

DiNapoli’s audit and investigation found the $63,636 cash shortage while examining justice court records. Further review revealed that Ms. Thompson routinely shifted monies collected, altered records and changed fine amounts to cover her tracks.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and 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. Review prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations/index.htm.

 

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