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$30,000 stolen from Erie County SPCA by former employee

Posted at 11:25 AM, Aug 08, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A former Erie County SPCA employee has pleaded guilty to grand larceny, after stealing $30,784.13 from the facility over the last four years.

Prosecutors say Elizabeth Tyler will not go to jail, but must pay restitution, and will be on probation.

"That charge does have the potential for jail time, however if she pays the entire amount back...then I will not recommend jail," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Tyler took a plea deal in front of Erie County Judge Wojtaszek. She presented half of the restitution in court and must pay the rest by her sentencing in November.

"Sentencing is on November 4th, so she has to come up with the full restitution by then, she'll come up with $15,000 more by sentencing so we'll go from there," said Flynn.

Tyler had been working for the SPCA and had taken cash in small increments between January 2015 and June 2019. Erie County SPCA discovered she had been taken money after an audit, according to Flynn.

At this point, it's unclear how she had access to the money.

"It was just normal living expenses, no alcohol problems, just living above her means and wanting more money to live her daily life," said Flynn.

The SPCA of Erie County says the money stolen was from payments for services, not taken from donations.

"My main concern is that the SPCA gets their money back especially because they're such an important part of this community," said Flynn.

This is breaking news. We will update this story as more information becomes available.