A Dutchess County man, working in the finance department for a local county, is accused of stealing thousands.

Michael Taylor, 44, of Beekman allegedly stole over $3,000 while working in the Benefits Section of the Westchester County Finance Department.

Taylor is accused of swapping his name for the counties name on money orders, checks, or cash that were mailed to his office over a three year period. He also stole at least five Medicare Premium Reimbursement checks, each payable for $314.70 to county retirees and deposited the checks with forged endorsements into his personal account, police say.

“This defendant violated the trust placed in him to be a careful steward of money earned by the hard-working employees of Westchester County,” said Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino. “It is through the efforts of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the Westchester County Finance Department and this office that this theft will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

An investigation began after an internal audit showed discrepancies in Taylor’s work.

Taylor was charged with grand larceny, a felony. The 22-year Westchester County employee was suspend without pay.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are possible, officials say.

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