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TOWN CLERK STOLE COURT FUNDS

DiNapoli: Town Clerk Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $10,000 in Fines

Town of Norfolk Court Clerk Convicted in St. Lawrence County

A former justice court clerk pleaded guilty to petit larceny after a joint investigation by the Office of the State Comptroller and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department found she misappropriated more than $10,000 in court fees, said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Lisa Dillon, 36, of Norwood, paid full restitution of $10,044 and was sentenced to pay an additional $1,000 fine for her actions after she pleaded guilty in Canton Town Court. DiNapoli’s office and a Sheriff’s investigation revealed that the money she collected in court fines and surcharges was never deposited in the court’s account and was instead stolen by the clerk. Dillon was further responsible for recording the receipts in the court’s official paper and electronic record systems. In addition to taking the funds, the investigation also found that Dillon altered the records to hide her theft.

“Ms. Dillon was entrusted with ensuring that money was properly collected from defendants and used to benefit the public, but instead she took advantage of her position to pocket those funds for her own personal advantage,” said DiNapoli. “I want to thank the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office for helping my staff bring this individual to justice.”

Dillon, an employee at the Justice Court since Aug. 2013, resigned on Jan. 11, 2016 after two judges confronted her about the shortages.

The matter was referred to DiNapoli’s Division of Investigations by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office after the justices reported their findings. DiNapoli’s office discovered several thousands of additional misappropriated dollars as well as Dillon’s falsification of various court records.

DiNapoli’s audits and investigations have led to more than 140 arrests and more than $37 million in restitutions since 2011.

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 investigations@osc.state.ny.us, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236. Review prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations/index.htm.

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