Prison for Finance Director Who Stole to Build Doll Collection - NECN
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Prison for Finance Director Who Stole to Build Doll Collection

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    Prison for Finance Director Who Stole to Build Doll Collection
    New Britain Herald/Bristol Press and NBCConnecticut.com
    The inset photo of David Bertnagel was taken by the New Britain Herald/Bristol Press. The photo of the house is an NBC Connecticut photo.

    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.

    Bertnagel pleaded guilty to federal theft and tax charges in Feburary.

    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.