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Posted on: August 19, 2022

Former Bookkeeper for Local Trade Union Charged with Embezzling More Than $120,000 in Union Funds

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Jennifer Jira allegedly issued hundreds of checks to herself from the bank accounts of Local 713 International of Brotherhood of Trade Union

MINEOLA, N. Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Westbury woman and former bookkeeper for a local trade union was charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records for allegedly embezzling more than $120,000 from the union between 2015 and 2021. 

Jennifer Jira, 40, was arraigned Thursday before Judge Joseph Nocella on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony) and five counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (an E felony). The defendant pleaded not guilty and was released on her own recognizance. Jira is due back in court on September 7, 2022. If convicted of the top charge, the defendant faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.

“Slowly, over a period of years, the defendant allegedly leveraged her access to Local 713’s financial accounts to siphon more than $120,000 from its coffers, using the funds to pay for living expenses, clothing, and utilities,” said DA Donnelly. “This alleged conduct violates the trust employers put in their employees to do their jobs honestly and with integrity.”

DA Donnelly said that, according to the charges, Jira worked as a bookkeeper for Local 713 International Brotherhood of Trade Union, located in Garden City, from April 2014 through September 2021. In her role, the defendant was responsible for reviewing and recording the union’s financial activity and had access to its financial records, accounting, and payroll software.

From approximately June 2015 through August 2021, the defendant allegedly issued approximately 384 checks payable to herself from Local 713 I.B.O.T.U.’s bank accounts, with a total value of approximately $123,468. The defendant allegedly cashed more than 300 of the fraudulent checks at check cashing businesses in New Hyde Park, Hempstead and Levittown, and also directly deposited checks into her personal bank account. The alleged fraudulent check amounts ranged from $64.00 to $1230.87.

To cover-up the fraudulent check writing, the defendant allegedly made false entries into Local 713 I.B.O.T.U.’s QuickBooks accounting software, altering payee information for the checks to indicate that they had been issued to legitimate vendors. 

After discovering an unauthorized check issued from the union’s bank account, Local 713 I.B.O.T.U. commenced an audit of its bank accounts in August 2021 and found further unauthorized checks had been issued. 

Leaders of Local 713 I.B.O.T.U. confronted Jira about the alleged fraud, and she was terminated on September 7, 2021. Local 713 I.B.O.T.U. then filed a complaint with NCDA for further investigation.

The defendant surrendered to NCDA Detective Investigators on August 18, 2022.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel Heidi Bausk of the Financial Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Marc Gann, Esq. 

The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.  


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