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Gamory was employed by Parks to execute contracts for the rental of the Oak Ridge building in Forest Park on behalf of the Forest Park Trust.
By Forum Staff
A City Department of Parks and Recreation employee used her position to execute contracts to divert into her own bank accounts more than $30,000 in payments she collected from clients reserving event space in Forest Park, Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett announced Thursday.
Nicole Gamory, 44, was arraigned Thursday on a criminal complaint charging her with one count of third-degree grand larceny; three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument; 12 counts of first-degree falsifying business records; and one count of official misconduct.
According to court records, Gamory was “released under supervision” and ordered to return to court on Sept. 3.
According to the criminal complaint and DOI’s investigation, Gamory was employed by Parks to execute contracts for the rental of the Oak Ridge building in Forest Park on behalf of the Forest Park Trust, a nonprofit organization that supports and maintains various programs in the green space, for social events including weddings and birthday parties. According to the charges, between approximately February 2014 and June 2018 Gamory allegedly steered 54 client payments from 36 events contracted by Forest Park Trust into bank accounts that she controlled through certified checks and money orders that were provided to her as deposits to reserve the event space, additional payments towards the balance on contracts and other payments. In total, $30,911 in fees and payments were allegedly diverted into Gamory’s bank accounts. In some cases, the original payee’s name was altered to Gamory, or Gamory’s name was later added as the payee, where the payee’s name had originally been left blank.
Gamory was also responsible for recording these contract payments in a ledger kept in Oak Ridge, however, during interviews with Forest Park staff, investigators learned that the original ledger has been missing since Gamory last worked at Oak Ridge, and that Gamory was the last person to be in possession of the book. A photocopy of the ledger book maintained at the FPT office and reviewed by DOI failed to show entries for multiple payments made by clients for their events.
According to DOI officials, the investigation found a pattern of similar activity in Gamory’s bank accounts consisting of client deposits and payments for rentals at Oak Ridge that should have been deposited into FPT’s bank account but were instead deposited into her accounts. For example, a client contracted with Oak Ridge for a wedding reception in December 2016, submitted a $400 deposit and five other payments, which included an $800 security deposit to Gamory. Two payments, totaling $1,150 were properly deposited, while four remaining money orders, totaling $1,936 were deposited into her personal bank account. The investigation reviewed the FPT ledger book, which only included the client’s payments that were properly deposited, not the payments that were deposited into Gamory’s account. In addition, FPT bank records indicated that the value of the $800 security deposit was returned to the client when it was actually deposited into Gamory’s account. The photocopied FPT ledger reviewed by investigators does not reflect the payments deposited into Gamory’s account.
DOI was notified of the allegations by the Parks Advocate Office, which had received a complaint from the Forest Park Trust.