The former treasurer of the Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department was charged today in the alleged theft of more than $11,000 from the fire department over several years, following an investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office and the Bolivar Police Department which was prompted by a complaint to the Comptroller’s fraud hotline.
Amy Olmstead, 47, of Bolivar, in Allegany County, is accused of forging and cashing department checks, and pocketing cash donated at fundraisers – including the "Smile for Christmas" campaign which collects money for toys for local children. She covered her actions by exaggerating bank balances to the board. Her alleged crimes were unmasked when the bank alerted the fire department that its checks were bouncing.
"It’s unacceptable when a public official blurs the line between their private desires and the public’s money," State Comptroller DiNapoli said. "When that line is crossed, a clear message must be sent that such behavior will not be tolerated. I thank Bolivar Police Chief Steven McPherson and Allegany County District Attorney Keith Slep for their partnership with my office in bringing Mrs. Olmstead to justice."
"The village of Bolivar’s Police Department, along with assistance from New York State Comptroller's Office, arrested Amy D. Olmstead after a long investigation," Chief McPherson said. Mrs. Olmstead was charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a felony, four counts of felony forgery in the second degree, and falsifying a business document. She appeared in Bolivar Village Court and is due back in court Dec. 21 at 6 p.m.
Olmstead began working at the fire department in 2014 and served as treasurer from January through September 2016, when she resigned after her alleged fraud was exposed.
To date, DiNapoli’s audits and investigations have led to over 150 arrests and the ordered restitutions of over $50 million in public funds. Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.
Review prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations.