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WAMC New York News
Thu September 9, 2010
DiNapoli: Fraud Could Have Been Prevented
By Dave Lucas
Hudson, NY – New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli joined officials in Columbia County where he declared that an incident of alleged fraud in Kinderhook and Greenport could have been prevented, had there been proper oversight procedures in place. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
DiNapoli's office launched an investigation after newly elected Kinderhook Town Supervisor Patrick Grattan contacted the state comptroller, requesting an audit because he couldn't find documentation to explain over $127,000 in electronic payments from the town general fund to American Express.
DiNapoli says it was a lack of oversight in the towns that allowed the woman's actions to go undetected. Mulligan-Moore, whom officials characterized as a "computer whiz," was arrested and indicted on 20 counts for allegedly stealing approx. $300,000 in municipal funds. She's been released on bail. Columbia County DA Beth Cozzolino says officials are now going through a decade-long paper trail.
Mulligan-Moore's husband and the former Kinderhook town supervisor she worked under have been co-operating with investigators. The Comptroller has been working with officials in both towns to make sure the proper checks and balances are in place so no one person ever has as much power as Mulligan-Moore had. DiNapoli is encouraging citizens and local government officials to help fight fraud and abuse by reporting any suspected activity that could possibly be fraud, corruption or abuse of taxpayer money.