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NYS Comptroller


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August 7, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Tax Collector Pleads Guilty After Faking Her Own Tax Payments

DePeyster Town Clerk Michelle Sheppard resigned her two public jobs and agreed to pay $4,303 in restitution for dodging her personal town and county tax payments over several years.

Sheppard pleaded guilty today to two counts of attempted tampering with public records, an E felony, in St. Lawrence County Court, after an audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli with St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s office.

 “Ms. Sheppard thought her government job gave her the right to tinker with public records and delay her tax payments,” DiNapoli said.  “I thank District Attorney Rain and Sheriff Kevin Wells for their partnership on this case.”

As part of her plea agreement, Sheppard resign her clerk’s job and a second position at the St. Lawrence County Clerk’s Office.  She is expected to pay full restitution and serve five years probation. Her sentencing is set for October 26.

DiNapoli’s audits and investigations have led to more than 90 arrests and $18 million in ordered restitution since 2011. The audit of DePeyster’s town clerk and tax collection is pending.

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, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
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