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Post date: October 12 2007

Delaware County Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $875,000 From His Grandmother

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 12, 2007) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the guilty plea of a Delaware County man who stole more than $875,000 from his grandmother.

Michael Schmitt, 38, of Franklin, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (class C felony) before the Hon. Carl F. Becker in Delaware County Court. He will be sentenced December 10 and will sign a confession of judgment to his grandmother’s estate for the full amount stolen.

“My office is committed to protecting New York’s elderly population from those who would seek to victimize them for financial gain,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “This case is especially egregious since this defendant stole from his very own grandmother.”

Schmitt was originally arrested April 23 on charges alleging he stole $875,000 from his grandmother. According to the complaint, between December 3, 2003 and November 16, 2005, Schmitt allegedly forged the signature of his grandmother on various documents and letters requesting that money be withdrawn from his grandmother’s accounts and through the redemption of Treasury Bonds held in her name.

He allegedly claimed the money was needed to pay for nursing care and other expenses, but instead used the money to gamble at Turning Stone Casino and to pay for lavish personal expenses. Meanwhile, his grandmother’s income taxes went unpaid from 2002 to 2004. She died July 27, 2006 at the age of 88.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Cydney A. Kelly and Michael McCabe and former Assistant Attorney General Johanna Sullivan of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly and Deputy Bureau Chief Richard Ernst. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Mark Spencer with the assistance of Forensic Accountant and Senior Investigator Lester Dier.