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What you need to know for 07/22/2017

Gloversville mentor agency head accused of theft

Gloversville mentor agency head accused of theft

The executive director of Adirondack Mentoring Partners, formerly Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fulton

The executive director of Adirondack Mentoring Partners, formerly Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fulton County, was charged Wednesday with stealing $43,000 from the agency, Gloversville police said.

Margaret Shaver, 39, of 913 County Highway 122, Gloversville, was charged with felony grand larceny and misdemeanor falsifying business records.

Shaver is accused of stealing the money between April 2009 and June 2011. She was arraigned Wednesday in Gloversville City Court and sent to the Fulton County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. A woman who answered at a phone number listed as belonging to the Shaver residence said the caller had reached a wrong number and hung up.

Capt. Donald VanDeusen said Shaver is accused of paying herself wages and benefits to which she was not entitled while with the agency. She also is accused of filing false quarterly reports with the United Way of Fulton County in return for approximately $10,000 in grants. She told the United Way she was operating a mentoring program in local high schools, officials said, but no such program existed.

VanDeusen said an employee of the mentoring agency notified its board about suspicious activity involving Shaver. The board then contacted Gloversville police last June and requested an audit of its books.

The department completed the audit in October, but VanDeusen said he then asked the state Department of Financial Services to review the data and determine the dollar value of the larceny. He said audits are time-intensive so the police department, being short-staffed, sought the extra help in putting the case together.

Shaver is alleged to have put the United Way money into the mentoring program’s general account, from which she drew wages and benefits. “She used that account to funnel money to herself, including mileage to programs that did not exist,” VanDeusen said. “At this point, we are able to prove $43,000 was involved. I do not think there will be anything substantially more than that.”

Shaver started working for the agency in 2007. At one point, she was paid $40,000 as executive director. She was removed from the payroll at some point, as the agency struggled with financial problems, but apparently left on good terms, as she was allowed to remain active on an unpaid basis.

Her alleged scheme began to unravel when a co-worker became suspicious of her activities, which involved hiding documents. At the time of the incident, Shaver was serving as a volunteer for the mentoring agency.

“She elected to stay on as a volunteer rather than leave the program. She went on unemployment and started paying herself without authorization,” VanDeusen said.

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