Former Hudson Valley Fire Department Treasurer Jailed For Embezzling More Than $5.6 Million
A former Hudson Valley fire department treasure is heading to prison for embezzling over $5.6 million from a local fire department and much more.
On Wednesday in Southern District of New York Court, 49-year-old Michael Klein of Mahopac, the former treasurer of the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department, was sentenced to over six years in jail.
“On hundreds of occasions over more than 13 years, Michael Klein stole from the volunteer fire department he was elected to serve,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a press release. “Klein took more than $5 million of the fire department’s money, and used it to buy himself several boats, luxury cars, cruises, and tens of thousands of dollars of jewelry. Then he lied about it on his taxes, and obstructed the investigation of his crimes. Now, Michael Klein has been sentenced to the lengthy prison term that his crimes merit.”
In March he pleaded guilty to wire fraud, subscription to false tax returns, obstruction of the grand jury and false statement charges.
According court documents, Klein stole funds from the fire department by writing checks to two businesses he owned, over a nearly 13-year-period. Klein then deposited the checks to bank accounts held by his businesses.
He entered the checks into the fire department books as being paid to a number of vendors who sold firefighting equipment or services used by fire departments.
Over the 13-year period, Klein wrote 275 checks.
Klein used the stolen money to buy a 55-foot yacht, a second home in Florida, an antique fire truck, jewelry and more.
Klein also failed to report any of the income on his personal tax returns from 2009 through 2014, which led him to submit false tax reforms, officials say.
Along with his guilty plea, Klein agreed to forfeit to the United States a sum of $5,675,360.49, his home in Florida, his equity in his yacht club in Palm City, Florida, cash held in various bank accounts, a 1931 American LaFrance antique fire engine, proceeds of a life insurance policy, a 2000 13′ Nautica vessel with an outboard motor and a 2005 Eliminator trailer.
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