January 17, 2013

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Former fire department treasurer pleads guilty to embezzling $200,000


KINGSTON – The former treasurer of the Woodstock Fire Company Number 3 pled guilty Wednesday in Ulster County Court to embezzling some $200,000. Dale Hughes, 64, entered a guilty plea to grand larceny in the second degree.

Hughes is an attorney and onetime Woodstock Town Board member.

An audit of the fire company by the state comptroller’s office performed last year revealed that from 2006 through 2011, Hughes stole the money by writing company checks payable to cash, endorsing and cashing them himself, and then depositing the funds into his personal bank account.

He also stole cash from a number of pancake breakfast fundraisers.

After a company check bounced in May 2011, Hughes borrowed $170,000 from family and put the money back into the company’s bank account, said District Attorney Holley Carnright.

“He also has agreed to pay the additional money that he stole, which is about $50,000 and to do that before the date of his sentencing. If he does that, it will be our recommendation that he not have to serve any additional time,” Carnright said.

Hughes spent about 10 days in the county jail before he posted bail when first arrested.


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