More than a dozen angry members of the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department showed up to a White Plains courtroom on Wednesday to watch their former treasurer get sentenced to over six years in prison for stealing $5.7 million from the department’s coffers.
Federal Judge Cathy Seibel called Michael Klein’s thefts — pulled off in 275 transactions over 13 years — “mind-blowing” before sentencing him to 77 months in prison.
Seibel also ordered Klein to pay restitution of $5.5 million, including $4.5 million to the all-volunteer fire department, which has had its budget slashed as a result of Klein’s thefts.
In March, Klein pleaded guilty to using the department’s money to buy himself luxuries, including a 1931 American LaFrance antique fire engine and a 55-foot yacht he named “K’Bam.”
“Mike lied to the department from day one,” firefighter Edward J. Scott told the judge. “Our reputation with the town was shattered.” Scott called for the maximum possible sentence of nine years and said he hoped to never “see or hear Mike’s name again.”
“My greed got the best of me and for that I am truly sorry,” a dry-eyed Klein told the angry men in blue. “As I stand here today I am an outcast and I deserve it.”