MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest of church bookkeeper for allegedly embezzling more than $180,000 from church accounts over a period of five years.
Therese Iuzzolino, 45, of Merrick was arraigned yesterday before Judge Maxine Broderick on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony) and four counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (an E felony). Bail was set at $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court September 11. If convicted of the top count she faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.
“St. Mary’s parish is a pillar of the Roslyn Harbor community, and this defendant’s alleged selfish actions betrayed the trust placed in her as the church’s bookkeeper,” DA Singas said. “Stealing from churches compromises the good work they do to serve our communities, and I’m grateful to the leaders at St. Mary’s for their cooperation throughout our investigation.”
DA Singas said that from December 2011 to April 2017, the defendant allegedly stole $183,203.64 from St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor by making online payments from the church’s bank account for various personal credit cards, as well as by creating several electronic check vouchers.
At the time of the alleged theft, the defendant worked as a part-time bookkeeper for the church and was responsible for preparing QuickBooks checks, maintaining the QuickBooks ledger, reviewing invoices and reconciling bank statements.
To conceal the theft, Iuzzolino allegedly falsified various church records by deleting deposit and withdrawal entries. The theft was discovered in May 2017 after the bank called the church regarding a suspicious $5,000 check drawn on a church account. Iuzzolino was later fired.
The defendant allegedly spent the money, some of which came from the church’s collections from parishioners, on payments to a jeweler and an automobile dealer, as well as toy stores, gun shops, dental expenses, computers, fast food, and entertainment.
Deputy Bureau Chief Peter Mancuso of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented J. Ceasar Galarza, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.