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American Legion treasurer admits stealing $50,000 to pay casino debts

The former treasurer of the Niagara County Committee of the American Legion pleaded guilty Friday to stealing $50,000 from the organization. Her attorney, Arthur E. Jackson, said she did it to cover gambling debts incurred at Seneca Niagara Casino.

Christine L. Bryan-Simon, 50, of Grant Street, Lockport, didn't wait to be indicted before pleading guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny from the North Tonawanda-based committee.

Niagara County Second Assistant District Attorney Mary Jean Bowman said Bryan-Simon wrote checks to herself from January 2015 through May 2017. A second person who was supposed to co-sign the checks was a "snowbird" who gave Bryan-Simon a signature stamp, Bowman said.

Bryan-Simon agreed to pay full restitution, starting with at least $6,000 on her sentencing date, Sept. 5, before County Judge Sara Sheldon.

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