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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


DiNapoli: Otsego County Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing From School District

January 6, 2021

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon announced Kristina Hand, 47, of Morris, New York, has pleaded guilty to stealing at least $34,000 from her former employer, the Morris Central School District.

“Stealing money meant for the education of children is shameful,” DiNapoli said. “Ms. Hand abused her position to fund her lifestyle at the expense of her community. Thanks to our partnership with Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon, the FBI and the State Police, she has been held accountable for her actions. I thank them for their continued collaboration in combatting public corruption.”

Hand pleaded guilty to two counts of federal program theft, for stealing from a school district that received federal funds.

From 2014 through February 2020, Hand was the treasurer for the Morris Central School District in Otsego County. In pleading guilty, she admitted that she stole about $24,000 by depositing checks payable to the school district into bank accounts that she controlled. She also admitted to stealing at least $10,000 more by using the school district’s Amazon account and credit cards to purchase items for her personal use.

Hand is scheduled to be sentenced May 21, 2021. She faces up to 10 years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release. Hand has also agreed to pay $34,000 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the New York State Police, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

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, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.