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IG: Attorney candidate falsified court documents to get paid time off

IG: Attorney candidate falsified court documents to get paid time off

'This defendant brazenly concocted a scheme deceiving her employer and defrauding taxpayers'
IG: Attorney candidate falsified court documents to get paid time off
Photographer: Shutterstock

ALBANY -- A Saratoga Springs woman falsified documents and feigned court appearances to steal paid days off from her state job, the state Inspector General's Office said Friday.

She did so, officials said, after she used most of her previous time off to study for the state bar exam.

Matoaka Aurora Thompson, 36, was arrested Friday on one count of fourth-degree grand larceny and other charges. 

An investigation showed Thompson, a legal affairs specialist with the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance repeatedly used fraudulent and forged subpoenas ordering her to court to actually get paid days off, the Inspector General's Office said.

She started work at the office in 2015 and notified her supervisor that she had an ongoing family court case in Westchester County she would need to attend. That case existed and she was properly subpoenaed several times, but the case ended in October 2016. But she then submitted nine separate subpoenas between March and May 2017 for the case that investigators found to be falsified or forged. 

Investigators found she used the old documents, changed the dates and submitted new ones and received nearly $1,500 in pay she shouldn't have received.

"This defendant brazenly concocted a scheme deceiving her employer and defrauding taxpayers to subsidize paid time off to which she was not entitled," Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said in a statement. "I will continue using all of the resources at my disposal to pursue any public employee who falsifies documents in a fraud against the government."

Thompson was terminated from her state post during the investigation. She took the bar exam in early 2017, officials said. Her admission to the bar remains pending. Investigators forwarded the allegations to the state court system's Committee on Character and Fitness to be considered.

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