May 30, 2015
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – A former Potsdam Justice Court clerk has been sentenced to jail for embezzling municipal funds, according to authorities.
Mary Jo Guyette, 44, was sentenced to six months in jail, five years probation and ordered to pay $117,120 in restitution. She pled guilty to grand larceny in the third degree and falsifying business records in the first degree, both felonies. Authorities say Guyette admitted to altering court records so she could pocket the public funds from 2009 to 2013.
“I’m glad our auditors and investigators were able to uncover this ongoing scam and ensure that the perpetrator, and not the taxpayers, will cover the cost,” New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement. “I thank District Attorney Mary Rain and the New York State Police for their work on this case.”
According to DiNapoli’s audit, Guyette recorded receipts for $115,045 in the Justice Court’s computerized database, but failed to send the money to the town, include the payments in monthly municipal reports or notify the state Justice Court Fund of the income. New York State Comptroller auditors also identified a cash shortage of more than $2,000.
“By working with the town of Potsdam’s judges, the diligent work of the comptroller’s investigators provided substantial evidence to bring this case to a successful resolution,” St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said.