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Ex-Village of Sherman treasurer arrested on $20,000 larceny charge

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A former treasurer for the Village of Sherman was arrested Thursday on a charge of third-degree grand larceny, accused of stealing more than $20,000 in cash she received from residents seeking to pay their sewer, water and village tax bills.

The New York State Comptroller's Office, Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office announced the charge against 54-year-old Ann Gilbert.

"Ms. Gilbert allegedly betrayed her neighbors by pocketing tax payments to pay her personal expenses," Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a statement Thursday.

Gilbert served as village treasurer from June 2007 to August 2016. 

Between 2012 and 2016, Gilbert allegedly used the stolen village funds to pay her personal utility bills and to make purchases from QVC, Dollar General, Walmart, Amazon.com and Pampered Chef, officials said.

Gilbert allegedly pocketed payments made in cash and did not record the tax payments to conceal the theft, according to officials.

Village of Sherman Mayor Colleen Meeder reported discrepancies involving Gilbert's handling of money and reported them to DiNapoli and District Attorney Jason Schmidt, who began an investigation.

The Comptroller's Office in April released an audit that detailed financial mismanagement of cash receipts in the village and made recommendations for improving internal controls. 

The comptroller thanked both the district attorney and sheriff for the help their offices provided in holding Gilbert accountable.

“This is not a victimless crime,” Schmidt said of the thefts.

“The Village of Sherman, like many of our local municipalities here in Chautauqua County, is engaged in an every-day battle to service its residents with precious little money," he said. "Every dollar stolen is a dollar not spent on the community. No one should use their public office for personal gain.” 

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