New York Educator Stole $118,000 From Popular Dutchess County Farm
An educator from the Hudson Valley admitted to stealing $118,000 from her former employer, a popular family-run farm in the region.
On Thursday, July 28, 2022, 54-year-old Concetta M. Lozito of Pleasant Valley, New York was sentenced in Town of Beekman Justice Court following her plea of guilty to petit larceny, the Dutchess County District Attorney's Office confirmed to Hudson Valley Post.
Pleasant Valley, New York Woman Admits To Taking Money From Barton Orchards in Poughquag, New York
Lozito, a former employee of Barton Orchards, admitted to stealing from Barton Orchard while an employee.
Concetta worked at the 175-acre apple orchard and vegetable farm located in Poughquag, New York for the past seven seasons.
Her main role was to oversee all registers and guide young employees at the admission and exit locations at the farm. Many of the young employees were working their first job, Peter Barton, the owner of Barton Orchard, tells Hudson Valley Post.
Barton Orchard has been in the Barton family for over 40 years.
"We are the premier Pick Your Own farm in the Hudson Valley, and the perfect place to build traditions year after year. Stop by the Ice Cream Stand to try our famous Apple Cider Donut Sundae, grab a bite to eat and visit the Farm Market. We also have a great selection of local craft beer, wine and cider at the Tap Room, with beautiful outdoor seating areas. You can visit the farm animals, dog park and playgrounds while you’re here," Barton Orchard states on its website.
Lozito was sentenced to pay restitution in the amount of $118,000, three years of probation and a full stay away order of protection for the benefit of Peter Barton and his family business.
Full restitution was paid at sentencing, officials say.
Investigation Into Missing Money At Barton Orchard, Dutchess County
Barton began to get curious when cash registers run by young employees came up several thousand dollars short.
Arlington Central School District Employee Pleads Guilty in Dutchess County Court
Lozito now works for the Arlington Central School District, according to Barton and confirmed by her Twitter as well as the school district.
"Since she was a well-known part of the community and also a Teaching Assistant at Arlington Central School District, we trusted her and gave her complete authority to oversee a large part of the farm sales. It was so upsetting to realize that she was habitually taking money for a long period of time. Not only did her theft cause a financial impact to a local business, (but) it also devastated many of the employees who had worked side by side with her and trusted her throughout the years," Barton concluded in his statement to Hudson Valley Post.
The Arlington Central School District's superintendent told Hudson Valley Post in an email "The District does not comment publicly on personnel matters."