Just Married, But Overcharged

The pair charged $200 for a marriage license -- which usually goes for $75

Wednesday, Dec 9, 2009  |  Updated 3:47 PM EDT
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Just Married, But Overcharged

Irwin and Pamela Betheil

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A Long Island town clerk and her husband are accused of using other couples' wedded bliss to pad their own pocketbooks.

Pamela Betheil, 63, the town clerk of Brookhaven, and her husband, Irwin, “routinely and intentionally overcharged couples” married from January 2006 through April of 2009, District Attorney Thomas Spota said today.

The pair allegedly charged more than 100 newlyweds $200 to be married -- $125 more than the maximum $75 fee allowed by law.

The couple has pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment that accused them of scheming to defraud and misconduct.

According to the indictment, Irwin Betheil, 67, is alleged to have “acted in concert” with his wife “in the ongoing scheme."

Mr. Betheil, who is not a town employee or official, planned and organized his wife’s wedding calendar and regularly used public resources e.g. fax and copying machines, office supplies and the services of town clerical staff, in furtherance of the scheme, the court documents said.

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