State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt and Chautauqua County Sheriff James B. Quattrone today announced the arrest of Jennifer Jaeger, former Bemus Point village clerk, for the alleged theft of more than $60,000 in village funds.
Jaeger, 38, of Bemus Point, allegedly wrote village checks to herself using forged signatures of officials and had village officials sign blank checks which she then cashed. Additionally, Jaeger used the village bank account to pay for herself and her family’s personal cell phones and car payments, and to purchase Christmas gifts. Jaeger also used a village gasoline credit card to pay for fuel for her personal vehicle. She was employed by the village between 2015 and November of 2020.
“Jaeger allegedly treated the village funds as her personal bank account, writing checks to herself for personal expenses,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to our partnership with Chautauqua County District Attorney Schmidt and Sheriff Quattrone, her actions have been exposed and she is now being held accountable for her violation of the public trust.”
“This is not a victimless crime,” Schmidt said. “The village of Bemus Point, like many of our local municipalities here in Chautauqua County, is engaged in an every-day battle to service its residents with precious little money. Every dollar stolen is a dollar not spent on the community. No one should use their public office for personal gain.”
Jaeger was charged with grand larceny in the second degree, forgery in the second degree, falsifying business records in the first degree, and official misconduct. Jaeger will be arraigned today in Chautauqua County Court in front of Judge David W. Foley.
The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between the State Comptroller’s Office, the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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.