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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Sentencing: VFW's ex-chief heads to jail

  • A man who stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Corning VFW Post 524 was sentenced Monday to six months in jail.??

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  • A man who stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Corning VFW Post 524 was sentenced Monday to six months in jail.??
    Edward C. Bassett, 63, was sentenced by Steuben County Judge Marianne Furfure to six months in jail followed by five years of probation, and ordered to pay $24,670 in restitution in addition to the $10,000 he’d already paid prior to sentencing, according to Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary, the special prosecutor in the case.??
    Bassett, of 3703 Dyke Road, Corning, pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to two felonies, third-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.??
    A third-degree grand larceny charge indicates the theft of $3,000 to $50,000. The other charge relates to Bassett filing a false document with the State of New York Racing and Wagering Board.??
    Bassett took thousands from games of chance he ran at the VFW Post 524 on Baker Street, where he was a longtime member and past commander.??
    The Corning Police Department and the state Racing and Wagering Board began investigating in January 2011 after receiving a complaint from a VFW member. They looked at financial records ????dating back to 2007.
    ??Charges were filed in January 2013.??
    Approximately 30 veterans attended Monday’s sentencing, according to Fazzary.??
    Fazzary said Robert Barnhardt and Brian Demeritt - former and current commanders of the VFW Post 524, respectively - urged Judge Furfure to give Bassett jail time because his actions had a devastating effect on the organization.
    ??Fazzary said Bassett did not apologize to the VFW or his fellow veterans during the sentencing hearing. He said Judge Furfure rebuked Bassett for breaching the trust of his position with the VFW.??
    Bassett was ordered to pay $500 per month until his restitution is complete.??
    Fazzary prosecuted the case because Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker had done some work as a lawyer for Bassett in the past, prior to Baker being elected DA.
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