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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


Hamburg Recreation Worker Sentenced to Jail and Probation for Stealing $156K

March 18, 2019

The village of Hamburg’s recreation attendant was sentenced today to three months of weekends in jail and five years of probation for her theft of $156,374, which she has now repaid. Joanne Erickson skimmed money from village fees, then altered public records to conceal her crime, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Erickson, 54, took fees from 2011 to 2017, including money for children’s programs, according to an investigation and audit by the State Comptroller’s office. This led to Erickson’s firing from her $35,000-a-year job. Last year, the four-year village employee pleaded guilty to grand larceny, false filing and official misconduct.

“Little by little, Ms. Erickson systematically fleeced the Hamburg village taxpayers of more than $156,000,” DiNapoli said. “Now, thanks to the hard work of my office in partnership with District Attorney John Flynn, Ms. Erickson has been brought to justice.”

“Over the course of six years, this defendant embezzled money intended to support programs for children in her community. My office will continue to prosecute those who steal from taxpayers. I hope that the public feels justice has been served by Ms. Erickson pleading guilty to felony charges for her crimes and paying back all of the money she stole from the village of Hamburg. I want to thank the New York State Comptroller’s Office for their help in this investigation,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and fraud 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.