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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

August 18, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli & A.G. Schneiderman Announce Guilty Plea Of Former Halfmoon Town Supervisor For Stealing Campaign Funds

Coordinated Action Of State And Federal Authorities In Corruption Case Results In Jail Sentence

Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Melinda “Mindy” Wormuth, the former town of Halfmoon supervisor, on state charges for stealing several campaign contributions donated to her campaign fund. The public corruption case arose out of a cooperative federal-state partnership between the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York.

"It's disturbing when an elected official abuses the process and steals campaign funds,” said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. "I greatly appreciate the work of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for partnering with us to bring this former elected official to justice.”

"Today’s guilty plea makes it clear: public officials who violate the law by misusing campaign funds will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Public officials must be held to the highest ethical standards and I’m proud to continue my ongoing partnership with Comptroller DiNapoli and other colleagues in government to root out public corruption across New York State.”

Wormuth pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree in Saratoga County Court. The Honorable Matthew J. Sypniewski sentenced Wormuth to 10 months of incarceration in the county jail with said term to run concurrent with a term of incarceration in a federal penitentiary stemming from related charges in federal court. As part of the plea agreement, Wormuth must also pay $1,250 in restitution to the Friends of Mindy Wormuth campaign committee and terminate the committee in accordance with the New York State Election Law. Wormuth also agrees to contribute any remaining funds of that campaign committee to a charity that is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, but is not one over which she or a member of her family holds controls or decision making powers.

The charges against Wormuth claimed that between July 2009 and July 2013, Wormuth cashed seven contribution checks, totaling $6,250, intended for Friends of Mindy Wormuth. She then pocketed the proceeds without reporting the contributions to the committee’s treasurer, or on the Financial Disclosure Reports that were filed with the State Board of Elections.

The felony complaint relied, in part, on statements that Wormuth made to the FBI, including an admission that she cashed and spent certain checks made payable to her campaign. In one FBI interview, Wormuth attributed some of her actions to her bitterness at not receiving her political party’s endorsement for reelection in November 2013.

Since 2007, Wormuth served as the supervisor of the town of Halfmoon in Saratoga County. In that capacity, she headed the Halfmoon Town Board and served as the town’s representative on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.

The case was investigated by the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations.

The case was handled by former Senior Assistant Attorney General Darren Miller and Assistant Attorney General Bridget Holohan Scally of the Public Integrity Bureau. The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Mitch Paurowski of the Investigations Bureau with assistance from Associate Forensic Auditor Jason W. Blair of the Forensic Audit Unit. The Forensic Audit Unit is led by Edward Keegan. The Investigations Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Criminal Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.

The State Comptroller and Attorney General thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York for their assistance.

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.

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