PLATTSBURGH — Kevin J. Conroy is serving jail time for the theft of more than $400,000 from High Peaks Dental and High Peaks Realty.
The prosecution argued a far more severe penalty — 2 1/2 to seven years in state prison.
In October, the Beekmantown man pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree grand larceny, one county of third-degree larceny and three counts of second-degree forgery, all felonies; and two counts of falsifying business records, a misdemeanor.
His plea was made with the agreement that his sentence would be no more than the time in state prison sought by Clinton County Chief Assistant District Attorney Timothy Blatchley in court this week, with the condition that sentencing would be at the sole discretion of the court, a release from the DA’s Office said.
Wednesday, Conroy was sentenced by Clinton County Court Judge Kevin K. Ryan to four months in jail and five years of probation, along with paying the fee for a DNA sample.
Conroy, then 32, was charged May 23 after a three-month investigation by State Police.
At the time of his crimes, he was CFO of High Peaks Dental Professional Partnership and High Peaks Realty, where, the probe indicated, he embezzled more than $300,000 between March 2012 and December 2015, police said at the time of his arrest.
Conroy was fired that December, High Peaks Dental Office Manager Nikki Burdo told the Press-Republican in May, saying “some inconsistencies” caused the firm to look into his actions.
The money, according to the DA’s Office, was used for unauthorized purchases for renovations at Conroy’s home, along with travel, exercise equipment, computer equipment and sport utility vehicles.
“As the office manager for both entities, the defendant was able to make then hide these fraudulent transactions.”
After Conroy pleaded guilty to the charges, the DA’s Office said, he paid back $423,819.82 to victims Dr. Michael O’Connor and Dr. William Caldon, based on a civil settlement agreement reached with their attorneys.
“The court made its decision not to send the defendant to prison based upon the fact that the victims … were not requesting incarceration and had been paid full restitution …,” the release said.
Blatchley, who prosecuted the case, requested the prison term based on “the seriousness of the crime” and Conroy’s history of committing similar crimes.
In December 2011, Conroy pleaded guilty to petit larceny and second-degree offering a false instrument for filing, both misdemeanors, for forging billing orders and return paperwork at Curtis Lumber, where he was employed at the time.
Those charges had been reduced from third-degree grand larceny, a felony; first-degree falsifying business records, a felony; and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor.
Plattsburgh-based State Police said at the time that Conroy had been conducting the scheme for several months, crediting the funds to his personal account.
Plattsburgh Town Justice Christina Bezrutczyk sentenced him to 90 days in jail, a $100 fine on each charge and 30 hours of community service, with a one-year conditional discharge.
‘PROBATION COULD HELP’
Ryan, the DA’s Office said, “agreed with the prosecution that these were serious offenses but was moved by the victims’ request (for no prison time), the fact that restitution had been made in full and that probation could help the defendant.”
In court this week, Conroy apologized, the release said.
He is now incarcerated at Clinton County Jail.
In 2018, Mr. Conroy commenced a lawsuit in Federal Court against his former employers, alleging contraventions of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as well as unjust enrichment, conversion, misappropriation of his likeness, fraud, and fraudulent inducement. The amount claimed was $400,000, which coincidentally approximates the amount he repaid relative to the embezzlement. This lawsuit was dismissed in 2019, with the Court determining that the ERISA claim had no basis and that the other issues were purely a matter of State jurisdiction.