Wendy Wharton, former Citizens Hose Fire Company treasurer, pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny and was ordered to repay $24,440, after an audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli exposed her crimes. DiNapoli’s office partnered with Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero and Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts on the case.
Wharton, 54, of Manchester, stole thousands of dollars by pocketing cash, using the fire company’s credit cards and stole checks to gamble at casinos in the Finger Lakes, Central New York and Las Vegas.
"Ms. Wharton betrayed her neighbors and exploited her fire company for nearly two years," DiNapoli said. "Thanks to my auditors and investigators, working with Sheriff Philip Povero and District Attorney James Ritts, these funds will be repaid."
Wharton must complete full repayment on a court-imposed schedule. If not repaid, she faces one to three years of incarceration.
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 [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, N.Y. 12236.