The former finance director for the town of Plymouth has been sentenced to prison time for embezzling more than $800,000 from the town, much of which officials said he used to buy designer purses and doll collections.
David J. Bertnagel, 41, of Thomaston, will serve 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He has also been ordered to perform 1,500 hours of community service, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
He has also agreed to pay $808,029.94 in restitution to Plymouth, to forfeit more than $45,000 that he held in bank accounts, as well as jewelry, stamps, coins and other collectibles that were seized on the date of his arrest in January. Bertnagel must cooperate with the IRS to pay outstanding taxes, penalties and interest.
Officials said Bertnagel embezzled $808,030 from the town. According to federal court records, Bertnagel used the funds to build something akin to a museum in his home and fill it with Hummel figurines, Annalee dolls, coins, stamps and more than 200 Coach purses, among others.
When investigators questioned one of Bertnagel’s friends, she described the house Bertnagel shares with his mother as a "museum" full of collections.
Bertnagel served as finance director from July 2014 until Oct. 31, 2014, when town officials suspended him after discovering "improprieties" in the finance department. He previously worked as a part-time employee in the department.