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January 08, 2022

Former treasurer of Frewsburg Central School District pleads guilty to stealing nearly $7,000 in school funds

On January 7, 2022, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and District Attorney Jason Schmidt announced the resolution of another case of "jobbery"* with the arrest and guilty plea of Angela Smoulder, former Treasurer of the Frewsburg Central School District, for stealing nearly $7,000 in funds raised by students to support their extra-classroom activities. Full restitution was recovered from Ms. Smoulder. 

Comptroller DiNapoli said “Ms. Smoulder betrayed the students she was obligated to serve by stealing money that they raised themselves to help pay for their extracurricular activities,” DiNapoli also thanked "Chautauqua District Attorney Schmidt and his office for partnering with us, bringing this corruption to light, and recovering the stolen money for the students of Frewsburg.”

The Comptroller press release noted that "Smoulder, 27, stole $6,982 in cash from the Frewsburg Central School District’s extra-classroom activities account and attempted to conceal her theft by substituting the stolen funds with checks from the school district retirees’ health insurance account, among other things. Students raise and spend extra-classroom activity funds to promote the education and morale of all students and to finance extracurricular activities. Those funds are collected by students from several sources, such as admissions, membership dues and sales. The thefts occurred between March and August 2019. 

"The school district superintendent reported the theft after Smoulder resigned. The Comptroller’s forensic analysis of the scholarship account revealed Smoulder’s manipulation. 

"Smoulder pled guilty to a petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor and paid full restitution to the district in the amount of $6,982.42.

"The arrest is a result of a joint investigation between the State Comptroller’s Office and Chautauqua District Attorney Jason Schmidt." 

* The Oxford International Dictionary defines "Jobbery" as "the practice of using a public office or position of trust for one's own gain or advantage."

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Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has fought public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. Allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money can be submitted by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by mailing a report to the Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236, or by emailing a report addressed to Investigations@osc.ny.gov.

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