Thursday, November 29, 2018

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Dutchess comptroller to conduct her own audit of Bottini Oil

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois announced plans to audit all payments the county made to Morgan Fuel & Heating Company, Inc., doing business as Bottini Fuel.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Bottini Fuel's guilty plea to falsifying business records and diverting credit balances belonging to accounts including government customers. The guilty plea in the criminal action against Bottini took place Tuesday in the Wappingers Falls Justice Court. 

Lois said she wants to make sure without a shadow of a doubt that the county was not a victim.

"While safeguards in Dutchess County's financial system do not allow for payment of duplicate invoices, the complexity of the scheme to defraud customers requires a thorough review of account balances and payments" The Comptroller also said "my office will immediately undertake this review to ensure that Dutchess County taxpayers were not defrauded, and immediately seek restitution in the event monies are owed."

The county no longer purchases fuel from Bottini but has done so in the past. The legal action brought against Bottini by the state shows that Dutchess Department of Social Services was defrauded by Bottini. Lois's review will include fully auditing the past five years of bills paid by the county to Bottini to ensure that overpayments did not occur. Any discrepancies will be reported to the offices of both the state comptroller and attorney general. 

Lois also said the county has contracted with a utility auditing firm to assist in the comprehensive review of all utility and telecommunications accounts held by the county for the past six years. The firm specializes in identifying errors in utility and telecom rates, tariffs and service options and will seek refunds or cost reductions where errors are found.

 


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