Former fire dept. treasurer pleads guilty to stealing $5.6M

Michael Klein used the funds to purchase a second home, yacht and an antique fire truck


By FireRescue1 Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y.—- A former fire department treasurer pleaded guilty to embezzling $5.6 million Tuesday. 

Former Mahopac treasurer Michael Klein, 48, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, subscription to false tax returns, obstruction of grand jury and false statement charges, reported Patch.com.

“Michael Klein admitted today what we alleged — for over a decade, he violated the trust of his fellow volunteer firefighters and used the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department funds as his own slush fund,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. “Klein took advantage of his position as the fire department’s treasurer and spent department money on himself, including paying for a yacht, a Florida home, jewelry and an antique fire truck.”

In turn, Klein agreed to forfeit the entire sum of stolen funds, his second Florida home, equity in his yacht club, cash held in various bank accounts, an antique fire engine and proceeds of a life insurance policy. 

Klein served as the department’s treasurer beginning in 2001 and embezzled funds over a span of 13 years. 

He will be sentenced June 21, and faces potentially 20 years of prison time. 

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