May 21, 2019

State Prison Employee Stole Child-Care Charity’s Funding To Pay For Show-Horse Hobby

State Prison Employee Stole Child-Care Charity’s Funding To Pay For Show-Horse Hobby

New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the arrest of a State prison system employee on charges she stole more than $5,000 in charitable funds, raised by facility employees hoping to create a child-care facility for children of prison staff, to pay personal expenses including costs related to show horses she rode.


Patti Milisauskas, 53, of Grahamsville, a Teacher 4 at the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s (DOCCS) Woodbourne Correctional Facility, was charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a felony.


“The defendant’s funding of a show-horse hobby with charitable child-care money she controlled was a violation of trust rooted in greed,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “She cleaned out a bank account built on a dream of a safe and convenient facility for the children of Woodbourne’s employees, and she will now be held accountable.”


An investigation by the Offices of the Inspector General found that Milisauskas, in the early 2000s, was one of a group of Woodbourne Correctional employees trying to create a day care facility for the children of employees at Woodbourne and nearby Sullivan Correctional Facility. Those employees obtained not-for-profit status for a corporation and began raising money to create the “Step-by-Step Child Care” at the facility. Ultimately, no day care center was created, several of the original employees who initiated the funding drive retired or left employment, and the money for the facility remained in a bank account. The investigation found that in late 2017, Milisauskas withdrew more than $5,000 from that account and used that money for expenses related to show horses that she rode, among other personal expenses.


Milisauskas was arraigned on the charge in the Village of Liberty Court and released on her own recognizance pending her reappearance in the Town of Fallsburg Court on May 22, 2019.


Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked the State Police for their assistance with the arrest, and Sullivan County District Attorney James R. Farrell and his office for prosecuting this matter.


The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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