A former American Legion treasurer was sentenced Wednesday to five years probation and ordered to pay back the thousands of dollars she stole from the Lockport American Legion post.
Christine Bryan-Simon wrote phony checks to herself while working as the post’s treasurer. She said in court Wednesday the money was used to support a gambling habit.
“My husband would got to work, I would go to the casino. I’d go to work, I’d come home, I’d get bored, I’d go back to the casino,” Bryan-Simon said.
Bryan-Simon pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in June. As part of her plea agreement, she was ordered to pay back $6,000 of the money she stole prior to sentencing, which she did.
The judge ordered Bryan-Simon pay back the remaining stolen funds monthly, in $500 increments.
Bryan-Simon, who is also a veteran, apologized to the American Legion and fellow veterans, many of whom were present for her sentencing.
“I was very shocked when I learned that Christine had taken the money. We were very good friends,” said Bob Sondel of the Niagara County American Legion.
He said he wants Bryan-Simon to get the help she needs, and asked the court to consider probation in its sentencing.
“I’m sure all veterans felt betrayed. They put some great trust in her and she betrayed that trust,” Sondel told News 4.
The judge ordered Bryan-Simon undergo treatment for her gambling problem, as well as banned her from playing gambling-type games on her phone.