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December 22, 2021

Former Village of Bemus Point clerk-treasurer pleads guilty to embezzeling village funds

On December 22, 2021, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt and Chautauqua County Sheriff James B. Quattrone  announced that former clerk-treasurer of the village of Bemus Point, Jennifer Jaegar, pleaded guilty to the theft of more than $58,000 in village funds.

Jaeger, 39, of Bemus Point, admitted that from 2015 to 2020 she wrote village checks to herself using forged signatures of officials and had village officials sign blank checks, which she then cashed.

“Former Clerk-Treasurer Jaeger disregarded the distinction between public funds and her own pocketbook,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to our partnership with Chautauqua County District Attorney Schmidt and Sheriff Quattrone, we have held her accountable for her violation of the public’s trust and recovered the stolen funds.”

“This is not a victimless crime,” said District Attorney Jason Schmidt.  “The Village of Bemus Point, like many of our local municipalities here in Chautauqua County, is engaged in an every-day battle to service its residents with precious little money.  Every dollar stolen is a dollar not spent on the community.  Here, we secured full restitution to the Village for the money which was stolen.  The plea resolution was conditioned on full repayment up front, and this is the only reason why a reduction in the charge was put on the table, to guarantee that Bemus Point gets all its money back now, and in one shot, rather than face the uncertainty of pursuing repayment through the civil judgment enforcement mechanisms available under the law.  This was our number one concern.”  

Jaeger pleaded guilty to petit larceny, a Class A Misdemeanor, in Town of Ellery Court and was sentenced to pay back $58,100 in restitution to the village.

The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between the State Comptroller’s Office, the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, and the Chautauqua County Sherriff’s Office.

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Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. Allegations of corruption and, or, fraud involving taxpayer money may be reported to the Comptroller by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.state.ny.gov, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

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