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Member of Gates FD facing 269 criminal charges

Gates, N.Y. --- A nine-year veteran of the Gates Fire Department was arraigned on 269 criminal charges Tuesday afternoon.

New York State Police have charged Stephen Leuchtner with Grand Larceny 2nd Degree, Falsifying Business Records 1st Degree, and 267 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing.

Each of those counts relates to timesheets that Leuchtner allegedly submitted with false information beginning in January 2008 and ending in August 2013 according to court documents showed to 13WHAM News.

Leuchtner is accused of stealing $65,847.86 over that time period. The Grand Larceny 2nd Degree charge he now faces carries with it a maximum sentence of five to 15-years in prison.

In court at his arraignment Leuchtner pled not guilty in the presence of his lawyer, Robert King. Despite a request for bail from the prosecution Gates Town Justice Sam Valleriani allowed Leuchtner to leave court without bail so long as he is not re-arrested and returns to court on January 2nd for his next scheduled appearance.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon 13WHAM News was present when Leuchtner turned himself into New York State Police with his lawyer and father joining him.

"Nine year veteran of the fire department, never been in trouble, never been arrested appeared today with his father, explained King. "I was contacted by the police just a few days ago, we're happy to know what the allegations are so we can begin our investigation.

Gates Fire Chief James Harrington did not have any comment on Tuesday but told 13WHAM News that the community will be briefed at a press conference on Wednesday.

 
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