- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

CANTON, N.Y. (AP) - A tax collector in northern New York has been arrested on allegations she falsified her own tax records to avoid paying up.

The state comptroller’s office says its audit and investigation led to nine charges of tampering with public records against Michelle Sheppard, the town clerk and tax collector in DePeyster (dee-POY’-ster).

As tax collector, Sheppard is responsible for recording, depositing and reporting property taxes.

Authorities say the 43-year-old falsified her personal town and St. Lawrence County tax payments of $4,303 since 2011. She pleaded not guilty Monday.

The comptroller’s office says auditors noticed discrepancies in the town books and that Sheppard has since repaid the bulk of her delinquent tax bills.

The office says its investigations have led to more than 90 arrests and $18 million in ordered restitution since 2011.

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