Colonie Police arrested a Latham man they say wrote over 100 checks to himself from his employer’s account totaling more than $1 million.
John T. Daley 46, of 26 Balboa Drive in Latham has been charged with first-degree grand larceny, five counts of falsifying business records and five counts of forgery. If convicted of the state’s highest grand larceny charge, Daley faces 25 years in state prison.
He was arraigned in Town Court Wednesday, June 7 and released Thursday after posting $100,000 bail.
Daley has since been fired from his $130,000-year salary position as chief financial officer of the New York State Nurses Association. He had been employed by the association since 2001. Police have followed Daley’s trail of forged checks back to 2002.
As a Colonie Police department investigation continues, investigators have so far confirmed that Daley forged 127 checks, depositing $1,012,570.08 to his personal account. An audit of the account continues, said Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider.
We picked up on it at the end of last week on a complaint from the NYSNA, said Heider. `He was intercepting anything that returned from the bank and altering the books so there were no shortages.`
NYSNA is a union representing 34,000 registered nurses in New York and New Jersey.
According to police, Daley forged the association account totals so routine audits did not uncover the withdrawals.
Daley’s scheme was uncovered when co-workers noticed discrepancies in a sequence of cancelled checks returning from the bank. Once the checks were located, employees found that they had been made out to Daley. According to the NYSNA, he had been making the withdrawals out of the association’s operational budget, something he was not authorized to do.
Daley allegedly stole a certified stamp of union executive director Lola Fehr’s signature to certify the checks, said Nancy Webber, association spokeswoman. Fehr was the only employee with the authority to authorize union checks. The stamp had been locked away. Once Daley got his hands on it, he removed the only administrative check and balance between himself and the account, said Heider. It wasn’t hard for Daley to cover the theft up, and the union was caught completely off guard.
The Latham-based association has a relatively small work place where everyone knows everyone else, said Webber.
`He was always very personable and well liked by his colleagues,` she said. `It really was a complete surprise. He was trusted and apparently that trust was misplaced.`
Daley’s arrest is the second largest white-collar crime Colonie Police has uncovered. More than five years ago Colonie Police arrested a Board of Cooperative Educational Services employee for a similar scheme. As was Daley, that person was in position of high authority at BOCES and wrote out checks to them selves totaling more than $3 million.
As white-collar crime increases in Colonie, Heider now dedicates 15 percent of his investigators to white-collar crimes. Those investigators made quick work of following the money in Daley’s nearly four-year operation, he said.
Outside auditors are currently mulling over the accounts of the union tracing each transaction made on the associations $29 million annual operating budget. Daley’s alleged theft only accounts for one percent of the union budget, said Webber. She has been assuring members that the association is financially sound despite the theft. The NYNSA has filed a petition in Albany County Court to acquire a lien on Daley’s house and assets so that they may recoup some of the losses if not all, said Webber. “