Recently we have found that two employees that were both working in an administrative capacity at the Co-op had given themselves unauthorized large pay raises and paid themselves for hours they hadn’t worked. I should add that the two employees were mother and daughter. This thievery came to light after one of the employees was fired and a new accounts payable/receivables clerk was hired. It didn’t take long for the new employee to detect the frauds. After confronting the employee who was still in our employment with the proof. She agreed that she was being paid at a higher rate than authorized, but said she didn’t realize it. I should point out that they oversaw payroll and time sheets. The audit also showed that the daughter used company funds to pay her gas bills. In an audio/video recording, she also admits that her daughter also paid herself for time she didn’t work. And, the mother is facing charges in Ballston Spa for fraud in an unrelated matter.
We brought time sheets, payroll records and texts to the NYS Police. The investigator felt it was a very strong case. The investigator brought the case to the Saratoga County Assistant District Attorney who handles the town of Galway, and she refused to prosecute. Feeling that the audio/video recording alone should have been cause to arrest them both, we brought the matter to two attorneys, one of which is an Assistant District Attorney in a neighboring County. Both agreed that the case was way too strong to not prosecute.
We had asked a local attorney to reach out to the Assistant District Attorney to find out what was preventing her from doing her job. Her response was sobering, disappointing and sickening. This clearly is not how the justice system is supposed to work. Politics and personal feelings have no place in the pursuit of justice.
As most members realize, we use much of our revenue to increase member benefits and donate to charities. The fraud these two women perpetrated cost us over $10,000.00. We feel we are entitled to justice. So, we’ve asked our attorney to contact the Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Haggen and ask that she review the case. We also offered to pay for polygraph examinations of two woman and the owner of the company, as well as the new accounts payable/receivables clerk, just so there is no question of the facts. We have achieved a membership of over 15,000 by being transparent and developing camaraderie. We will report back to you with District Attorney Karen Haggen’s response.