A former clerk-treasurer for the village of Wolcott allegedly stole $68,479 over four years, including $50,443 in extra payroll checks, an audit released Thursday by the state comptroller states.
Melanie DeBadts, 35, is charged with one count of felony grand larceny in the second degree and 106 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, also a felony, the comptroller’s office said.
The case was referred to state police after the audit.
“This clerk-treasurer had a creative imagination when it came to coming up with ways to steal taxpayer monies,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli alleged in a statement.
Wolcott Mayor Gary Baxter and the village’s accounting consultant contacted the comptroller after seeing extra payroll checks made to DeBadts in the 2010-11 fiscal year, the comptroller’s office said.
Auditors found the village’s accounting records changed and the unauthorized checks deleted during a subsequent review. The scheme was undetected for four years because of a lack of controls by the village board, the comptroller’s office said.
DeBadts began working for the Wayne County village in May 2007 and resigned Sept. 15, 2011, the comptroller’s office said. She had custody of all village moneys, collected and deposited cash received, maintained accounting records, filed financial reports and signed all village checks.
DeBadts also served as tax collector and processed the weekly payroll, it said.
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