Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Landlord Gets Bagged For Allegedly Stealing Over $200K In Rent Security Deposits In Connection With County Contract To Provide Low-Income Housing To Parolees

In Troy, New York, the Albany Times Union reports:
  • A former Stillwater town Democratic chairman was charged with stealing more than $200,000 in rent security deposits from Rensselaer County, District Attorney Joel Abelove said Monday [March 13].

    Gene T. Cook, 72, and his wife, Julie N. Cook, 69, also failed to report more than $100,000 in income, the DA's office said.

    The Department of Social Services and state Department of Taxation and Finance joined in the investigation, Abelove said.

    Gene Cook is accused of stealing $207,096 from the county Department of Social Services between Sept. 1, 1999, and July 1, 2016, by failing to return security deposits when his tenants at 68 Brunswick Road were evicted, the DA's office said. He had a contract with the county to provide low-income housing to parolees, some of whom were evicted after they were re-arrested.

    In April 2008, Troy shut down the Cook Arms Apartments, then the county's largest single-resident occupancy facility, for code violations. The apartment building later reopened.

    The Cooks are accused of failing to report $107,220 in taxable income on their state income tax return in 2011, the district attorney's office said. They paid the tax in subsequent years, authorities said.

    Both were charged with felony offering a false instrument for filing and misdemeanor criminal tax fraud.

    Gene Cook also was charged with felony grand larceny.

    The Cooks were arraigned last week at the county courthouse before State Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ceresia.

    Gene Cook resigned as Stillwater town Democratic chairman in 2005. He also was a Democratic candidate for Halfmoon supervisor in 1972 and for Saratoga County coroner.
Source: Ex-Stillwater politico, wife accused in funds thefts (Gene Cook, wife failed to report income, stole rent security deposits, DA says).

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