Former Bookkeeper Sentenced For Stealing From Plastic Surgeon

Modified: December 22, 2017 11:46am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 52-year-old Justine Smith of Buffalo has been sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns to 2-6 years in prison for embezzling from her employer. 

In February, Smith pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Falsifying Business Records and Offering a False Instrument for Filing. 

Between January of 2011and October of 2016, Smith, while working as a bookkeeper at the Amherst office of Dr. Samuel Shatkin, stole $500,000 from the practice by falsifying the business financial records. 

Smith has paid back $61, 599.95, and Justice Burns has ordered her to make restitution for the remaining amount. 

“Embezzlers who violate the trust of their employer will pay dearly for their crimes,” says DA Flynn. “Protect your business by making sure there’s more than one person in charge of bookkeeping. You need checks and balances inside your office.” 

DA Flynn commends the Amherst Police Department for its thorough investigative work, including Detective Robert Cunningham and Lt. Richard Walters. 

Special Investigations and Prosecutions Chief Candace K. Vogel prosecuted the case.