TROY, N.Y. – The head of a local non-profit is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to charges he stole more than $200,000 over four years from a Troy non-profit drug treatment organization.
53-year-old Dennis Bassat appeared in the Rensselaer County Courthouse Thursday morning pleading guilty to second-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records.
The Attorney General's Office alleges that he carried out an elaborate scheme making up time cards and cashing at least $200,000 in checks to fictitious contractors he claimed were doing work for 820 River Street Incorporated, part of Peter Young Housing, Industry and Treatment, a Troy-based non-profit drug treatment organization.
Several offices associated with Peter Young were raided by FBI officers last week. In some cases computers and other evidence was seen being hauled out.
Bassat was arrested in Florida. He is now being held without bail in the Rensselaer County Jail. If convicted he faces five to 15 years in prison.
Peter Young Housing Industries and Treatment has released the following statement to NEWS10:
“In early 2011, Father Peter Young's organization internally uncovered possible wrongdoing by an employee. An internal investigation followed which resulted in the termination of several employees, and notification by Father Young's organization to the state. An audit was conducted over the past year by the state. Father Young's staff fully cooperated in the audit, and followed the state auditors' guidance given during the audit process. Today's proceedings in Rensselaer County court are believed to be connected to the audit which followed discovery and reporting of the issue by the organization's cooperation.
Over the two years since, Father Young's organizations have reorganized the management teams, hired new program leaders and promoted talented and dedicated managers from among the 300+ PYHIT employees. We have brought in an experienced financial consultant to guide the programs to improved financial controls, and a comprehensive Corporate Compliance Program was implemented with training of all staff. This past year was Father Young's most successful in people reached, and Father Young remains committed to continued success transforming the addicted, homeless, unemployed and parolees into contributing taxpayers.
Father Young's organization has been victimized, but the mission and the hard work continue every day”