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March 30, 2013

Booster Club treasurer admits embezzlement

PLATTSBURGH — The treasurer of the Saranac Central School Booster Club admitted to stealing an excess of $20,000 from the club’s accounts, police said.

Deborah A. Perry, 52, of Saranac was charged with two felonies: fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records.

The Booster Club filed a complaint with police in January that led to Perry’s arrest on Thursday, said New York State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation Investigator Trevor Giroux.

In an interview with Giroux earlier this week, Perry admitted stealing funds from the club for her own personal use, he said.

She said she starting taking the money in the early part of 2008, Giroux said.

Perry had been the club treasurer since 1996.

Giroux said the KeyBank account Perry had told the club she deposited money in did not exist.

“We basically discovered it as a group,” Booster Club President Mary King said by phone Friday evening.

The details of the embezzlement came to light when members of the club “asked some questions about some changes” in the organization’s accounts, King said.

As far as specific details of the investigation, she said, “I’m not really at liberty to speak of it.”

Perry is in the process of repaying the money to the organization, State Police said in a press release.

“I hope the investigation itself doesn’t leave anyone thinking negatively about the club,” King said. “As a group, that’s our biggest concern.

“We hope that people will still trust and support us in the future so we can help the kids.”

The Clinton County District Attorney’s Office is assisting State Police in the continuing investigation.

Perry was released on an appearance ticket for Saranac Town Court for 7 p.m. Monday.

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.com

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