Former chemical company controller sentenced after stealing nearly half a million dollars

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nearly half a million dollars was stolen from a Buffalo chemical company, and the culprit was one of their own employees.

Bernadette Szymanski, 61, worked at FPPF Chemical Company for nearly 25 years, serving as their Controller. She remained with the company until she was fired in 2015.

The company let Szymanski go following a dispute with her boss over bereavement leave compensation. Szymanski’s boss checked through records and found out the she had been giving herself more money than the company allowed.

Between 2002 and 2015, Szymanski stole nearly $492,000 from the company through payroll fraud. Prosecutors say she also used the company’s credit card for unauthorized personal purchases.

Szymanski admitted to grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing in May. As of her sentencing in August, Szymanski had paid $80,000 in restitution.

After she serves her sentence of 20 months to five years in prison, she will have to continue making payments to FPPF Chemical’s insurance company. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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