BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (AP) - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the former treasurer of an upstate New York volunteer fire department stole as much as $500,000 from the organization and used the money to buy appliances, furniture, electronic equipment and more than 250 backyard patio stones.
DiNapoli says Wednesday in Saratoga County that 50-year-old Virginia DeCapria of Charlton stole the taxpayer funds from the Charlton Volunteer Fire Department over a five-year period ending early this year.
State police arrested DeCapria late last month on grand larceny charges after an audit by DiNapoli's office found that between $400,000 and $500,000 had been stolen from the fire department's accounts.
DeCapria worked as the district's secretary and treasurer from 2005 until January, when she was suspended.
Officials say she was able to get away with it because the town had no oversight in place, that's why they're now hoping this case can serve as a lesson for other municipalities.
Charlton says it plans to create oversight and will seek restitution.
DeCapris is facing five felony charges including grand larceny and falsifying business records.
If found guilty, she could spent up to 15 years behind bars.
She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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