Monday, July 20, 2015

Town tax collector admits she falsified her personal tax payments


Town tax collector admits she falsified her personal tax payments
Source: Office of the State Comptroller

An audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s staff led to the
July 20, 2015arrest of the Town of DePeyster's Town Clerk and Tax Collector Michelle Sheppard. The Comptroller reported that Sheppard admitted she falsified her personal town and county tax payments of $4,303 and that she has been charged with nine counts of tampering with public records in the first degree, a Class D felony, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor, for crimes dating back to 2011.

As the Town’s tax collector, Sheppard was responsible for recording, depositing, remitting and reporting all real property tax moneys collected in a timely and accurate manner. Her actions were uncovered during an audit and investigation by the Comptroller’s staff. The auditors noticed discrepancies in the Town's books and obtained a confession from Sheppard. Comptroller DiNapoli indicated that the audit of DePeyster’s Town Clerk and tax collection has not yet been completed and Sheppard has since repaid the bulk of her delinquent tax bills.

DiNapoli’s audits and investigations have led to more than 90 arrests and $18 million in ordered restitution since 2011. Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has been committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse.  Allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money may be reported by calling the Comptroller's 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.


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