Mother and son admit to embezzlement scheme

    Fraudulent activity totaled more a million dollars at the New York State Weatherization Directors Association.

    The non profit helps low income families weatherize their homes.

    Randi Smith worked at the organization's Guilderland office near Albany.

    She's accused of writing checks out to herself, using the association's business checking account from 2011 to 2018, totaling around $801,000.

    Police say her son, 23-year-old Dakota Smith, wrote checks out to himself, his construction business, and his father's business for around $353,200. When his bank asked about the transactions, investigators say he provided a forged contract between his company and the agency.

    With their guilty pleas, Dakota faces 2 to 6 years in state prison for grand larceny. His mother Randi is facing 3 to 9 years.

    Representatives in Syracuse were not available for comment, but back in May the executive director of the New York state Weatherization Directors Association said:

    "For a small association, this has a huge impact on our ability to deliver services to our network."

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