Plea Entered in New York Charity Horse Show Theft Case

A New York man accused of stealing more than $30,000 from a charity horse show has pleaded guilty to felony theft charges.

In July a member of the St. Clement's Finance Committee notified Saratoga Springs, N.Y., law enforcement authorities about suspected thefts connected to the St. Clement's Saratoga Horse Show over the previous several years. Proceeds from the annual horse show benefit St. Clement's Regional Catholic School in Saratoga Springs. An investigation revealed that between April 2005 and May 2011, a total of $33,303.01 was stolen from the sale of tee shirts and souvenirs at the horse show. The alleged thefts were connected to falsified invoices submitted to St. Clement's for payment.

Police later charged Charles D. Walling in connection with the theft.

On Jan. 3, Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy, III, said that Walling pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Walling was unavailable for comment.

In a written statement, St. Clement's pastor Rev. Paul J. Borowski said he was pleased with the case's outcome: "We are grateful that this matter has been resolved in a just and equitable way."

Walling is slated to appear in Saratoga County Court on March 13 where he will be sentenced to six months in jail and five years supervised probation, Murphy said. In addition, Walling will be required to pay $27,111 in restitution and be ordered to have no future financial involvement with any nonprofit organizations.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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