Investigation underway into embezzlement in village of Theresa

Updated: Jun. 26, 2019 at 6:38 PM EDT
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THERESA, N.Y. (WWNY) - An investigation is underway into a case of embezzlement in the village of Theresa.

A forensic accountant went over the books for the village of Theresa and found around $48,000 in municipal funds went missing. That’s according to village Mayor Jonathan Walker. He said it happened over a four year period.

Walker confirmed the village filed an employee dishonesty claim with an insurance company last July. According to minutes of the board of trustees meeting, “The claim is in regards to misappropriated funds by the former Village of Theresa Deputy Clerk Danielle Rajner.”

The minutes go on to say the village received an insurance payout of $37,737, about $10,000 less than what the forensic accountant found missing. The insurance money will be split between the village’s electric, water and sewer funds.

Walker said customer accounts are being reviewed and villagers who are affected will be contacted by mail within the next 60 days. Walker said there are possibly 50 customers who will be receiving credit on future utility bills.

Walker declined to do an on camera interview due to an ongoing state police investigation, but said in a statement that “the Trustees and Village Clerk take these matters, including the safeguarding and recovery of public money very seriously.”

We asked Jefferson County District Attorney Kristyna Mills for comment on the Theresa case. She would only say “there is an active investigation.”

We also reached out to Danielle Rajner for comment, but she didn’t get back to us.

Rajner resigned from her job as deputy clerk last August, not long after the employee dishonesty claim was filed.

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