SARATOGA SPRINGS — A former SUNY Empire State College official was arrested Friday on 85 counts stemming from what prosecutors allege were 171 unauthorized charges totaling $31,685 across a 44-month period.
Erik K. Reimann, 51, of Saratoga Springs, was formerly the facilities director for the Saratoga-based college, which has 34 other locations and also uses online instruction to serve students, mainly older adults, pursuing a non-traditional path to their degrees.
State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro said Reimann was arraigned Friday in City Court on one count of third-degree grand larceny, 40 counts of first-degree offering a forged instrument for filing, and 44 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. The charges are all felonies.
Reimann, who became facilities director in 2010, used a taxpayer-funded college credit card to make the unauthorized purchases from January 2016 to August 2019, the IG’s office said in a news release, then forged or altered receipts and statements to make it appear the purchases were for legitimate college purposes.
Reimann’s bogus purchases ranged from a $10.44 pool scoop to a $2,550 air purifier, the IG’s Office said.
The IG’s Office said the scheme went undetected for 3 1/2 years because of lax oversight — specifically, his direct supervisor not monitoring his actions.
The IG’s Office said the new administration that took over SUNY Empire State in July 2019 detected the alleged misconduct during an operational review, and terminated Reimann, his direct supervisor and others. The new president was James Malatras, a close aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who in August 2020 was named chancellor of the entire SUNY system.
State police conducted the arrest. The Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.