Former Village of Sherman Treasurer Ann Gilbert faces felony charges for the alleged theft of more than $20,000 in cash paid by residents from 2012 to 2016 for village sewer, water and taxes, according to an investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office. Gilbert, 54, who now resides in Florida, was charged with grand larceny in the third degree.
“Ms. Gilbert allegedly betrayed her neighbors by pocketing tax payments to pay her personal expenses,” DiNapoli said. “I thank District Attorney Schmidt and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office for partnering with my office to hold her accountable.”
“This is not a victimless crime,” District Attorney Schmidt said. “The Village of Sherman, 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.”
Ms. Gilbert allegedly embezzled village funds to pay for her personal utility bills and purchases from QVC, Dollar General, Walmart, Amazon and Pampered Chef. To conceal her crimes, she stopped recording cash village tax payments and, instead, pocketed the money. After the Village of Sherman’s Mayor Colleen Meeder discovered Gilbert’s actions, she reported them to the State Comptroller and the District Attorney who commenced an investigation. Gilbert was the village treasurer from June 2007 until August 2016.
On April 22, 2022, the State Comptroller’s Office released an audit detailing financial mismanagement of cash receipts and making recommendations for improved internal controls.
Gilbert was arrested today pending arraignment in Chautauqua County Court before Judge Marilyn Gerace.
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.