A tax collector is accused of using tax money collected for schools in the region to fund her online shopping.

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New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the arrest of 41-year-old Jennifer Colucci of Hopewell Junction for allegedly stealing more than $88,000 in tax funds collected for the use of the town of Beekman and its schools.

“While people across the state struggled to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic, Jennifer Colucci allegedly used taxpayer dollars to fund her own personal online shopping,” DiNapoli stated. “Taxpayers expect their tax money to benefit their community, not to pay for an individual’s personal lifestyle. I thank Dutchess County D.A. William Grady and the State Police for partnering with us against public corruption.”

Colucci allegedly used public money to shop online at Amazon, Stitch Fix, and Chewy.com, and order deliveries from Gobble Meals. She also used taxpayers’ funds to make car loan payments, officials say.

She served as Beekman tax collector for two years, ending in August 2020, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Colucci was charged with second-degree grand larceny and second-degree corrupting the government.

“This arrest should serve as a reminder that those who choose to abuse their public position will be brought to justice,” State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said. “This former tax collector took money from taxpayers for her own personal gain and benefit. We will not tolerate this illegal behavior or abuse of power. I commend the work of the State Police members assigned to this case, State Comptroller’s Office, and Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office for their hard work in exposing this fraud.”

The arrest was the result of a joint investigation between Comptroller DiNapoli’s Office, Dutchess County D.A. William Grady and the New York State Police.

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