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Slingerlands man suspected of stealing $1.2 million from state

A state employee who lives in Slingerlands is under investigation by the state Attorney General's office on charges of money laundering, grand larceny, and allegedly defrauding the government of more than $1.2 million over the course of nine years.

Search warrants have been executed, and a grand jury is expected to be convened soon to look into the charges against 49-year-old James L. Leggiero.

Investigators believe there is a direct link between a company Leggiero created called VIP Inc. (Very Important Property) and his $79,000-a-year position as auditor with the state Office of Mental Health, or OMH.

In sum, VIP appears to be a sham entity used by Leggiero to engage in an extensive fraudulent scheme, and Leggiero appears to have structured bank accounts and financial transactions to conceal his use and control of the more than $1.2 million in proceeds generated by this scheme, wrote senior investigator Michael Battisti in a sworn affidavit in Rensselaer County Court.

Leggiero worked as a principal auditor in the office of community budget and financial management for OMH and had been an employee with the state agency for more than 25 years.

See the Wednesday, March 14, Spotlight for the complete story.

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