ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A church bookkeeper is accused of embezzling more than $180,000 from a Long Island house of worship over five and a half years.
Therese Iuzzolino, 45, of Merrick, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records. She has also been fired from the part-time position.
“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,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “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.”
The district attorney’s office said Iuzzolino embezzled $183,203.64 from St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor between December 2011 in April 2017. She allegedly made online payments from the church’s bank account to personal credit cards and created electronic check vouchers.
She’s accused of spending that money, some of which came from parishioners, to pay a jeweler, car dealer, toy stores, gun shops, dental expenses, computers, fast food and entertainment.
The DA’s office also said Iuzzolino falsified records to conceal the alleged thefts.
In May 2017, a bank called the church to report a suspicious check.
If convicted, Iuzzolino could face a maximum of five to 15 years behind bars.