Cortland County insurance agency employee accused of stealing thousands from customers

Tracey Rialdi (Cortland County Sheriff's Office)

CORTLAND, N.Y. - A Homer woman was arrested Thursday on a sealed indictment warrant handed down by a Cortland County Grand Jury.

Tracey Rialdi, 53, of Miller Drive, Homer, was taken into custody following a 5-month investigation by the Cortland County Sheriff's Office into claims of misused funds by an employee at a local insurance company.

The investigation began in July 2017, when a person told law enforcement that they had paid their insurance premiums but were receiving cancellation notices stating that their policy had been canceled for non-payment. After interviewing the person, investigators met with the management of the local insurance company where Rialdi worked as an employee. (The sheriff's office declined to release the name of the insurance company.)

Investigators learned that Rialdi was taking cash payments from customers and not applying the payment to their insurance premiums. The sheriff's office determined that Rialdi had fraudulently taken money from at least seven customers in an amount totaling more than $12,000 over the course of a year, authorities said.

Rialdi was arrested on Thursday at around 2:25 p.m. on Route 31 in the town of Clay by the Cortland County Sheriff's Office. She was transported to the Cortland County Courthouse, where she was arraigned and released to the county's alternatives to incarceration program.

She faces felony charges of scheme to defraud and grand larceny. The sheriff's office says their investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.