Albany County Sheriff’s Worker Allegedly Stole $68K to Gamble

Posted on: February 23, 2023, 08:55h. 

Final up to date on: February 23, 2023, 09:24h.

A former worker with the Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace in New York has been charged with grand larceny within the second diploma and 5 counts of forgery — all felonies — for allegedly stealing $68K to cowl his playing behavior.

Albany County Sheriff's Office theft crime civil forfeiture
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple tells the general public that one in every of his high staff allegedly stole $68K from the division to gamble. The scandal has additional questioned the civil forfeiture course of. (Picture: Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace)

A latest audit of the sheriff’s workplace carried out by the US Division of Justice turned up quite a few monetary housekeeping discrepancies. Federal authorities later decided that 60-year-old John Cox, a greater than 10-year worker of the sheriff’s workplace who oversaw the company’s funds, had allegedly been swindling cash from the division since at the least 2021.

Legislation enforcement believes Cox frequently dipped his hand into the workplace’s civil forfeiture funds account.

Betrayed is an understatement,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple stated throughout a press convention asserting the arrest Tuesday afternoon. “He was our head funds analyst, our head accountant, he ran our enterprise workplace and for sure, he’s betrayed each little bit of belief that I had in him.”

Apple says Cox used the cash to cowl his playing losses. The sheriff didn’t say the place Cox allegedly gambled.

“Sadly, the mechanisms we had in place to stop this he was a part of. We entrusted him, he had every little thing,” Apple defined.

Civil Forfeiture Questioned

The investigation into Cox ramped up when DOJ officers couldn’t find a automobile that Cox allegedly bought by way of the civil forfeiture course of.

John Cox (Picture: Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace)

Civil forfeiture, based on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), permits police to grab — then hold or promote — any property that they allege to be concerned in a criminal offense. Homeowners of the alleged property don’t should be arrested or convicted of a criminal offense for his or her property, money, autos, and even actual property to be taken away from them completely by the federal or state authorities.

Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace data present {that a} seized automobile was allegedly traded right into a dealership for the acquisition of one other automotive. The price distinction between the autos was paid for with an $18K test.

Apple stated Cox approached him in the course of the probe of the unaccounted-for automobile and advised the sheriff that he had taken the $18K test. And it wasn’t the primary time that he had stolen cash from the civil forfeiture account.

Policing for Revenue

The scandal in Albany has prompted extra calls to finish civil forfeiture. The Institute for Justice (IJ), a non-profit public curiosity regulation agency based mostly in Arlington, Va., advised On line that the Albany County Sheriff’s worker’s actions solely heighten the continued controversy surrounding civil forfeiture.

The misuse of forfeiture funds is shockingly widespread as a result of civil forfeiture is inherently abusive and non-transparent,” stated IJ Senior Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath. “In simply the previous few years, we’ve seen a Pennsylvania deputy steal $200,000 from a protected, a Michigan prosecutor embezzle $600,000 in funds, and widespread issues with forfeiture studies in states like Kansas and Oklahoma.”

The IJ says civil forfeiture legal guidelines sometimes enable regulation enforcement to retain and spend the cash and belongings it seizes in any method through which they see match.

“New York ought to be a part of states like New Mexico and Maine by passing payments … that might remove civil forfeiture and as a substitute correctly confiscate ill-gotten good points by way of a felony course of. Analysis exhibits that regardless of regulation enforcement claims that civil forfeiture is a crime-fighting device, eliminating it doesn’t improve crime,” McGrath concluded.



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