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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Ex-controller gets three years in $1.5M theft

Ex-controller gets three years in $1.5M theft

A Mechanicville man who pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud in the theft of more than $1.5 million

A Mechanicville man who pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud in the theft of more than $1.5 million from the Avila Retirement Community in Albany was sentenced Monday to more than three years in federal prison, officials said.

He also must make restitution of $1.5 million.

William Sorriento, 53, Avila’s former controller, appeared for sentencing Monday in U.S. District Court in Albany with his attorney Mark Sacco. The case was presided over by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.

The case began in late summer 2011, when the Avila Retirement Community learned of a possible theft of its money and notified federal law enforcement authorities.

The community, in a statement issued after the plea, indicated it has received $500,000 of the more than $1.5 million stolen and was pursuing all remedies to recover the full amount.

Avila is a 192-unit independent living and retirement community serving people age 60 and older at 100 White Pine Drive in Albany. It is one of 16 retirement communities sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Sorriento worked as controller for Teresian House Housing Corporation from 2005 through August 2011. In June 2009, the Alchester Group LLC assumed day-to-day management responsibility for Avila through a consulting agreement and Sorriento reported to Alchester.

As part of his duties, Sorriento prepared checks, reconciled monthly bank statements, and created monthly financial reports. He was not authorized to sign checks.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in court papers that between September 2010 and May 2011, Sorriento wrote 23 checks to himself on Avila’s checking account at the M&T Bank. He then forged authorization signatures on the checks and deposited them in his own personal account for a total of $1,582,281.

He used this money, authorities said, to gamble and trade stock options.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth C. Coombe prosecuted the case.

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