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DePeyster Town Clerk falsified own tax records, comptroller's office says

CANTON, N.Y. - A town tax collector has been arrested in northern New York, accused of falsifying 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 DePeyster Town Clerk and Tax Collector Michelle Sheppard.

Authorities say the 43-year-old Sheppard falsified her personal town and St. Lawrence County tax payments of $4,303 since 2011.

She pleaded not guilty Monday.

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

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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