Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that ALBERT MELIN, the former treasurer of the volunteer Patterson Fire Department ("PFD"), was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Nelson S. Roman to 33 months in prison for fraud and tax charges arising out of his embezzlement of more than $1.1 million from the PFD.
According to documents filed in court, MELIN, a chiropractor, was elected treasurer of the PFD in 2013. From in or about December 2013 to in or about October 2015, MELIN embezzled PFD funds under his control by writing checks to the two businesses he owned, 211 Medical, P.C. (“211 Medical”), and N.A.S. Management Co., Inc. ("N.A.S."). MELIN then deposited the checks to bank accounts held by 211 Medical or N.A.S. MELIN also charged expenses of 211 Medical and N.A.S. to the PFD’s debit card.
MELIN embezzled more than $1.1 million by writing more than 130 fraudulent checks. He used the money to support 211 Medical and N.A.S., to make payments on his home mortgage loan and to pay personal expenses, including the costs of family vacations. MELIN failed to report this income on his personal return for 2014 and falsely reported some of the embezzled funds as revenue on the corporate return for 211 Medical in an effort to disguise their source.
"The fact that Albert Melin was able to embezzle $1.1 million from the Patterson Fire Department is a compelling reminder to local fire departments: Proper oversight is your first line of defense," said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. "My office will continue to work with law enforcement across the state to fight public corruption. I thank U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara, the New York State Police, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for partnering with my office on this case."
On November 2, 2016, MELIN pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of subscribing to false tax returns, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
In addition to the prison sentence, MELIN, 46, of Cary, North Carolina, was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Judge Roman also ordered MELIN to forfeit $1,151,665.76 in ill-gotten gains and to pay $1,349,318.76 in restitution.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the IRS, FBI, New York State Comptroller, and New York State Police. He thanked the Putnam County District Attorney's Office for its assistance in the investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office's White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney James McMahon is in charge of the prosecution.