- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A 61-year-old western New York woman has been sentenced to prison time for stealing nearly half a million dollars from her longtime employer.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says Bernadette Szymanski of Cheektowaga was sentenced Monday to 1 2/3 to 5 years in prison. She pleaded guilty in May to a grand larceny charge.

Prosecutors say Szymanski worked as the controller for FPPF Chemical Co. of Buffalo from 1991 until late 2015, when she was fired. Official say during a 13-year period that started in early 2002, she stole nearly $492,000 by committing payroll fraud and making unauthorized personal purchases on the company’s credit card.

The thefts were discovered after Szymanski became embroiled in a dispute with the company’s owner.

Szymanski so far has repaid $80,000 to the company.

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