Guilty plea in theft of $18,000 from Cooperstown food pantry

Antoine Bourbon-Parme, on Friday, told an Otsego County Court Judge exactly how he stole more than $18,000 from the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church, in Cooperstown, from October, 2017 to January of this year.

Posted: Nov 15, 2019 5:25 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2019 6:03 PM

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Antoine Bourbon-Parme, on Friday, told an Otsego County Court Judge exactly how he stole more than $18,000 from the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church, in Cooperstown, from October, 2017 to January of this year.

"I made checks payable to myself which I had no right to sign, signed them and deposited them," said Bourbon-Parme.

What remains unknown, is a definitive reason why he stole the money from a place where he was volunteering.

"I don't know why. I don't know why he did it. I'm assuming he was just behind..in bills," said Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl. "He told people a lot of stories about himself, how he was a famous interior designer from England. Everybody believed that he had an English accent. Of course, as you can see, he doesn't."

The theft was uncovered when another volunteer at the food pantry looked at the books.

"When she was balancing the checkbook, that's where it came up. So she went to the bank, got copies of the checks, they didn't write those and they see his signature," said Muehl.

Bourbon-Parme pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, in Otsego County Court, Friday. He was originally charged with third-degree grand larceny. In exchange for the plea, he'll get a three-year conditional discharge and no prison time. He'll make full restitution at or before his December 20th sentencing.

"Jail time, I thought that in this case, him paying everything back up front, which he probably wouldn't have been willing to do if I put him in prison, the restitution was more important for me at that point," said Muehl.

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