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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

May 21, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Potsdam Court Clerk Sentenced to Jail; $117,000 Restitution

Former Potsdam Justice Court clerk Mary Jo Guyette was sentenced today in a $117,120 embezzlement case uncovered in an audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Guyette, 44, was sentenced to six months in jail, five years probation and ordered to pay $117,120 in restitution following her January guilty plea to grand larceny in the third degree and falsifying business records in the first degree, both felonies. Guyette admitted to altering court records so she could pocket the public funds from 2009 to 2013.

“I’m glad our auditors and investigators were able to uncover this ongoing scam and ensure that the perpetrator, and not the taxpayers, will cover the cost,” DiNapoli said.  “I thank District Attorney Mary Rain and the New York State Police for their work on this case.”

 “By working with the town of Potsdam’s judges, the diligent work of the Comptroller’s investigators provided substantial evidence to bring this case to a successful resolution,” St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said.

According to DiNapoli’s audit, Guyette recorded receipts for $115,045 in the Justice Court’s computerized database, but failed to send the money to the town, include the payments in monthly municipal reports or notify the state Justice Court Fund of the income.  Auditors also identified a cash shortage of more than $2,000.

Since the thefts, town officials have taken several steps to improve the court’s financial oversight.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and fraud against the state’s retirement system 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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