Schenectady County

Ex-Price Chopper employee admits theft of gift certicates worth more than $300K

A former executive secretary at Price Chopper admitted on Friday to stealing $313,126 from her emplo
Christina Pagano
Christina Pagano

A former executive secretary at Price Chopper admitted on Friday to stealing $313,126 from her employer over a period of about 10 years.

Christina Pagano pleaded guilty in Schenectady County Court to second-degree grand larceny, as part of a deal that requires her to serve one to three years in state prison, repay the Golub Corp. and pay approximately $30,000 to the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

The charge against Pagano stems from her role in administering the Presenteeism Incentive Program at Price Chopper supermarkets that began in 1998. From April 2, 2000, until Nov. 24, 2010, Pagano admitted, she used her role with the program to steal 6,395 gift certificates, worth a total of $313,126. The gift certificates were used to buy groceries, personal items and gift cards that could be used at locations other than Price Chopper.

Because Pagano did not declare the proceeds as personal income on her income taxes, she ended up owing the state $21,126.79 in unpaid taxes, in addition to penalties and interest.

The years of theft were discovered internally by a store supervisor and the Price Chopper Loss Prevention Division, which also investigated. Additional assistance was provided by the Rotterdam Police Department.

Sentencing in the case is set for March 22. As a result of the agreement, Pagano has also agreed to forfeit all employee assets toward the restitution she owes, according to the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. The assets are valued at approximately $200,000.

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