Former Mahopac Volunteer FD Treasurer Accused of Stealing $5.6 Million
Former Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department’s treasurer, Michael Klein, has been arrested on federal charges of wire fraud and subscribing to false tax returns according to a press release from the New York State Comptroller’s Office.
Klein, 48, of Mahopac, New York and Palm City, Florida allegedly embezzled more than $5.7 million over a 13-year period. According to the indictment, Klein began writing checks to two businesses he owned, Abbie Graphic Services, Ltd., and Buckshallow Emergency Equipment Corp., after one year as elected treasurer. From 2002 through 2015, more than 275 checks were written.
“Rather than protecting his neighbors as he pledged, they paid the price for his alleged thievery, ”New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said.
Klein used these funds to help support his businesses and purchase a 55-foot yacht, a second home in Florida and jewelry. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and the six counts of subscribing to false tax returns carry a maximum of three years each.
Candle Might Have Cased Hillcrest Home Fire
A candle likely caused a fire in the basement of a Hillcrest home on Monday, June 13, that led to heat and water damage on the first floor according to lohud.com. Smoke was seen emitting from the house around 10:12 a.m. Monday morning, no one was home. No foul play was suspected and the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the cause.
30 firefighters from Hillcrest, Nanuet and Spring Valley responded to the scene and no injuries were reported.
Ramapo Police Busy with Robbery Arrest and Vehicle Accidents Tuesday
Ramapo police arrested a 34-year-old man on Tuesday, June 14, for a second-degree burglary charge, a class C felony. Police responded to a reported burglary at a rooming house in Monsey and investigated the theft of missing items. Their investigation concluded with the arrest made Tuesday.
The department also responded to 10 accidents: three in Hillcrest, two in Monsey, and one in each of the following – Airmont, Montebello, Viola, New Square and Chestnut Ridge. Injuries were only sustained at two of the accidents according to officials. Ramapo police also responded to 146 calls, including 11 alarm activations, nine medical emergencies and five fires. Seven arrests were reported for various charges including DWI and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Pope Returns Donation from Argentinian President
Pope Francis asked that President Mauricio Macri’s donation of 16,666,000 pesos (which is slightly under $1.2 million) to the Scholas Occurentes educational foundation be returned.
The foundation is similar to an organization founded by Francis when he was cardinal of Buenos Aires and is backed by the pope. The donation was made two weeks ago but according to the Vatican Insider, a specialized publication focusing on papal affairs, Francis wrote to the foundation asking them to return it because “I don’t like the 666.”
The two men have always been on opposite sides of the political aisle. Francis, a supporter of progressive causes in the country, and Macri is a center-right president.