DiNapoli And Schneiderman Announce Arrest In $87k Contractor Theft

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DiNapoli Rejects Extension Of Related Contract.

New York, NY - February 28th, 2014 - State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Department of Health (DOH) contractor George Dunkel for stealing more than $87,000 by padding bills to pay for hotels, education credits and other expenses.DiNapoli also announced he is rejecting a $133,860 extension of a related contract due to the criminal probe.

“Mr. Dunkel diverted more than $87,000 in public money meant to promote immunization of children across the state,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. “Working with the Attorney General, our joint investigation into this disgraceful conduct will continue and will ensure that any money taken illegally will be returned. Contractors who cheat the state will be appropriately punished.”
 
“Exploiting his position as head of the American Academy of Pediatrics in New York, Dunkel defrauded taxpayers and stole over $87,000 intended for children's health,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “This is an egregious abuse of public funds, and our latest joint effort with Comptroller DiNapoli to ensure that those who defraud taxpayers are held accountable.”
 
Dunkel, 45, of Latham, who is executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, District II (AAP-II), was charged in Albany City Court with grand larceny and several counts of offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted, the maximum penalty is up to 15 years in prison. The investigation continues.
 
The joint investigation by the State Comptroller DiNapoli and Attorney General Schneiderman revealed that Dunkel inflated AAP-II’s expenses by more than $87,000 while under contract with DOH to develop and provide training and education on childhood immunization issues. The falsified vouchers sought payment for hotel stays, employee fringe benefits and continuing medical education (CME) credits.
 
AAP-II received more than $1.5 million in state funds for immunization grant contracts from 2006 to 2013.
 
As a result of the criminal probe, DiNapoli’s office today rejected a $133,860 contract extension with AAP-II for similar services through June 2014.
 
Anyone with additional information on this matter or any other suspected public corruption is encouraged to contact the State Comptroller’s office by calling the toll-free fraud hotline at 1-888-672-4555; filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.state.ny.us; or mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller Investigations Unit, 110 State Street, 14th floor, Albany, NY 12236 or the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-996-4630.
 
For a copy of the audit, click here.
 
For a copy of the criminal complaint, click here.
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