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Alleged Theft of Funds From Village of Port Washington North

Pisano: Village Among Victims of a Payroll Company

Port Washington North Village Treasurer Susan Pisano reported to the trustees at the monthly meeting on August 2, that Certified Payroll, the company contracted to make payroll tax payments to the state and federal governments on behalf of the village had not done so during the last fiscal year. In some instances, the monies were deducted from the account the village keeps for this purpose, in other instances the money was not deducted from the account, she said.

Pisano was alerted to the problem when she received a notice that the taxes had not been paid. Her initial inquiries determined that the payments had in fact been deducted from the village bank account maintained for this purpose and calls to Certified Payroll were answered with confirmation of payment to the government and attributed the notice to a “bureaucratic mix-up.” After the second non-payment notice, Pisano took matters into her own hands. She called IRS in New York State. After many hours on the phone she determined which tax bills had not been paid. She then followed up with the New York State Tax Department. In both instances back taxes and penalties accrued have been settled.

Pisano said the village was not the only entity to be the victim of Certified Payroll. The matter has been referred to Village Attorney Stuart Bessen for follow up with the Nassau County District Attorney. Bessen said, “The village will pursue restitution through criminal and civil action.”

The village has engaged another payroll company, Paychex, one of the biggest in the industry. The trustees were all surprised to learn, that although some payroll companies are bonded, it is not a legal requirement for doing business. Certified Payroll was not bonded, it was reported. Paychex, the current vendor is bonded.