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Posted on: September 1, 2020

Former Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More than $260,000 from Elmont Library

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former employee of the Elmont Memorial Library pled guilty today to grand larceny charges for stealing more than $260,000 from the Library between 2012 and 2018.

Sheila Seward, 58, of West Babylon, pled guilty before Judge Helene Gugerty to grand larceny in the second degree (a C felony). The defendant is expected to be sentenced to one to three years in prison, is due back in court on November 16, and will be required to pay $236,752.50 in restitution.

“Sheila Seward pilfered more than a quarter-million dollars from the Elmont Memorial Library over a period of six years and used that money for college tuition and medical bills,” DA Singas said. “Public libraries are the cornerstones of our neighborhoods and my office will aggressively work to return this stolen money to the Elmont community.”

DA Singas said that from August 2012 to September 2018 the defendant stole a total of $262,190.20 from the Elmont Memorial Library.

As an administrative assistant for the library, the defendant was responsible for preparing the payroll, which gave her access to the library’s finances. Beginning in August 2012, the defendant, without permission from library officials, began to add excess payments labeled as ‘other compensation’ to her paychecks.

The amounts she added to her checks ranged from $39.00 to $6,900.00 and increased over time as she became more emboldened in her theft. In total, she added money to her paychecks more than 100 times.

Following a review of the library’s financial statements by an outside accounting firm, library officials became aware of the scheme in September 2018 and reported the case to the NCDA.

The defendant used the money for medical bills and college tuition. She resigned from her position at the library in August 2018.

Assistant District Attorney Heather Kalachman of DA Singas’ Public Corruption Bureau is prosecuting this case. John Russo, Esq. represents the defendant.


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