Ex-Newburgh fire chief pleads not guilty to wire fraud

A former Newburgh fire chief pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to charges that he bilked the state out of nearly $100,000. Michael Vatter,

Michael Vatter, 57, is accused of swindling state funds for several years and fraudulently collecting just over $95,000 in pension benefits. He resigned as chief on Thursday.

Michael Vatter, 57, is accused of swindling state funds for several years and fraudulently collecting just over $95,000 in pension benefits. He resigned as chief on Thursday. (1/22/16)

WHITE PLAINS - A former Newburgh fire chief pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to charges that he bilked the state out of nearly $100,000.

Michael Vatter, 57, is accused of swindling state funds for several years and fraudulently collecting just over $95,000 in pension benefits. He resigned as chief on Thursday.

It emerged in court that he has been repaying the $95,000 since 2014, though it was not immediately clear how much he paid back.

Vatter worked with the fire department from about 1980 until he retired in 2000, when he left to study law. He came back to the department as chief in 2009, but allegedly failed to report his return to the public sector, despite a duty under state law to do so.

Vatter is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted on a wire fraud charge. He was released on a $100,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport and his travel privileges. He is restricted to the southern and eastern districts of New York.

 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: Interview with Newburgh fire chief 1 VIDEO: Interview with Newburgh fire chief
VIDEO: Rob Astorino blasts free tuition plan 2 VIDEO: Rob Astorino blasts free tuition plan
Chopper 12 was over the scene of an 3 VIDEO: Chopper 12 over Yonkers building fire
Three men have been arrested after an alleged 4 Police: 3 arrested in connection to Yonkers knifepoint robbery
5 Westchester/Hudson Valley Sportscast, March 24

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Michael Vatter, 57, of Wallkill, handed in his Newburgh fire chief resigns amid fraud charges

The embattled Newburgh fire chief has resigned after being charged with fraud. Michael Vatter, 57,

A federal indictment handed down Wednesday in White Officials: Chief collected retirement money while on the job

A Newburgh fire chief is accused of collecting retirement money while he was working. A

Fire chief hailed a hero after Newburgh blaze

After a three-alarm fire took the life of a 1-year-old in Newburgh last Friday, the

Crews rescued two workers who got stuck 140 Firefighters save 2 men in bucket ladder

Newburgh firefighters made a dramatic high wire rescue today, saving two men who were stuck

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE