Former town clerk sentenced after AP audit uncovers embezzlement

A former clerk was recently sentenced to five years' probation for embezzling nearly $30,000 from the northern New York town of Cape Vincent, the Watertown Daily Times reports.

Jeri Mason pleaded guilty to misappropriating the funds between April 2009 and September 2010. She falsified records to cover the embezzlement, which was detected after an accounts payable audit revealed discrepancies in the town's finances.

The case was reported to the state police department, which subsequently turned it over to the New York Attorney General's (AG) Office, according to the news source.

"As a result of our public integrity investigation, (Mason) is being held accountable for the crime of using her position to steal money from taxpayers," said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a statement quoted by the media outlet.

In an effort to combat embezzlement by public officials, Schneiderman placed public integrity officers in all 13 regional AG's offices across the state last year.

Conducting regular AP audits helps organizations quickly identify irregularities such as misappropriation of funds, thereby mitigating their losses.

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