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July 31, 2014

Leader at N.Y. Priest's Nonprofit Network Faces Larceny Charge

A longtime executive with a clergyman's upstate New York charity organization was arrested Wednesday on charges that she stole more than $1-million in taxpayer funds and approved a phony job for a former state legislator, the Times Union of Albany reports.

Prosecutors allege Jacqueline Gentile diverted state grants intended for drug-treatment and job-training programs to cover deficits and pay salaries at the Rev. Peter Young's network of social-service agencies, with which she has worked for 28 years. She was also accused of falsifying records in connection with what authorities said was a no-show job for ex-state Assemblyman William F. Boyland at a Young charity.

Ms. Gentile was released on $25,000 bail. Her lawyer denied any wrongdoing, and she was vehemently defended by Mr. Young, whose Schenectady-based network operates more than 100 sites statewide that provide housing and other services for the homeless, substance abusers, and ex-convicts. "I've been with her for approximately 30 years. In 30 years she's a person of complete integrity," he said.

Four other employees at Young charities have been charged with felonies, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office said. Two executives at one of the nonprofits—820 River Street in Troy, N.Y., where Ms. Gentile served as chief operating officer—have admitted to embezzling from the organization.