Woman sentenced for stealing $30k from Gloversville senior center

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Aimee R. Ricciardi makes a statement apologizing to the members of the Gloversville Senior Citizen Services Center during her sentencing court hearing Friday afternoon. 

JOHNSTOWN — The Gloversville woman who pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 from the Gloversville Senior Citizen Services Center in March was sentenced Friday in Fulton County Court to four months of intermittent jail time, five years of probation and will have to repay the money she stole.

Aimee R. Ricciardi, 46, of Gloversville, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony. As part of the agreement, she will serve jail time on various weekends between July and October. Ricciardi admitted to using a senior center debit card to make personal purchases and pocketing money from fundraisers between October 2019 and July 2021 while serving as the director of programs for the center. 

She also will be expected to pay back about $27,600 to the center after giving the court $3,000 prior to her sentencing. She will begin making monthly payments of $500 beginning in July. 

“The fact that she has to make restitution is the most important part,” said Gray Pitkin, the president of the Board of Directors for the center, following the sentencing. 

During sentencing Randy Smith, the secretary to the Board of Directors for the center, read a statement describing the impact Ricciardi’s behavior has had on the center – including not being able to have staff at the moment and looking at potentially closing its doors. 

“Shame on you,” Smith said. 

Because of Ricciardi’s actions, Smith said, the United Way also withdrew its financial support for the center’s food programs because of “inadequate and unsupported reports.” 

Smith said members of the board have stepped up to run programs and serve meals at the center. 

“We suffered much shame and embarrassment and had even pondered the thought of closing our doors,” she said.

Smith said the board and members of the center trusted Ricciardi to grow the program, not take from it. 

Smith said Ricciardi used the center’s money to pay for vacations, holiday gifts for her family and spent $300 for an engagement ring. 

“She took advantage of one of our most vulnerable populations in the county,” said Amanda Nellis, the acting district attorney. 

Prior to Ricciardi speaking, defense attorney Brian Toal said that during the time his client stole the money she had lost her significant other and was raising a child with disabilities. 

“I’m not offering any excuses, but she was going through some very difficult times,” he said. 

Ricciardi, through tears, apologized to the members of the senior center that were in court. 

“I have no excuse for my actions, and I take 100% responsibility,” she said.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @ByBriere.

By Shenandoah Briere

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