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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

September 25, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Wallkill Fire District Chair Pleads Guilty in $240,000 Theft

The former chairman of the Wallkill Fire District’s Board of Fire Commissioners pleaded guilty today in Ulster County Court to grand larceny and criminal tax fraud for stealing nearly $240,000, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright announced.

“This chairman hoodwinked his own Fire District, and others failed to double-check his actions,” DiNapoli said. ”I thank District Attorney Carnright for partnering with my office to expose this scheme and hold this official accountable.”

Michael Denardo,38, of Wallkill, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, and three counts of criminal tax fraud in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor. He agreed to pay full restitution.
Sentencing is set for January 8, 2016 in Ulster County Court.

Denardo, who at the time was a state correction officer, admitted conning a board member into signing blank checks, which Denardo then cashed for personal use. He began his blank-check scheme as early as 2010, laundering the money through his wife’s account through 2013, the joint investigation and audit found.

The Comptroller’s office is completing a full audit of the fire district, which serves about 3,000 residents in Ulster County.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and fraud 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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