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Former Village of Hamburg employee pleads guilty to pocketing over $150,000 in recreation funds

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A former Village of Hamburg employee has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $150,000 which was intended to go to the village's recreation programs. 

Joanne Erickson pleaded guilty to grand larceny and falsifying business records on Wednesday. 

According to the Erie County District Attorney's Office, the money that Erickson, 54, stole should have gone to afterschool programs, a children's summer camp, and the village recreation hall. 

The case against her started when the state Comptroller's office randomly audited the Village of Hamburg and found numbers that didn't add up in the recreation department. 

Investigators determined that from Aug. 2011 to Nov. 2017, Erickson kept some of the money she was accepting from residents, little by little. 

Erickson worked for the village for 14 years before she was fired in April. 

She had no prior criminal record and said she'll try and pay back half the amount she owes by January. 

The judge in the case said he'll cap her punishment at a maximum of three years in prison. 

Erickson is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 9. 


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