HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman has pleaded not guilty to charges she stole more than $200,000 from her employer and an autism awareness foundation run by her boss’s wife, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Pamela Efraimov, 39, walked out of court in Hempstead without having to post bail, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
According to District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Efraimov was a bookkeeper for The Nicholas Center for Autism and Spectrum Designs Foundation and for the owner of a women’s apparel wholesale business from 2005 to 2012.
In that time, Efraimov allegedly wrote out checks to herself and used the cash to purchase luxury items like jewelry, Louis Vuitton handbags and Prada boots, according to the DA.
Efraimov worked for Katherine Bishop, Ltd., until her boss’s death in June 2010 and then assisted her old boss’s widow to manage the books for the autism awareness non-profit, Rice said.
According to the DA’s office, the widow became suspicious because of some irregularities with cash deposits and some bounced checks.
After Efraimov was fired, the widow conducted an audit and discovered that Efraimov had instructed the bank to stop sending paper statements and that she had altered 64 checks from January 2011 to September 2012 to hide that she had written the checks, totaling more than $150,000, to herself, according to the DA.
The audit also showed that Efraimov made unauthorized transfers from the Katherine Bishop account to her personal bank accounts totaling more than $10,000, forged the widow’s signature on 73 checks made out to Efraimov, totaling more than $45,000, and used the Katherine Bishop account to make online payments to her personal credit cards, the DA’s office said.
Efraimov was arrested Tuesday on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records.
“Violating the trust of her employer is bad enough, but it is particularly appalling that this defendant victimized a grieving widow and a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with special needs,” DA Rice said in a statement. “For her deception and lies, all this defendant ended up with were some luxury accessories and a slew of felony of charges.”
Efraimov and her lawyer refused to speak following her court appearance, Hall reported.
Efraimov faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
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