Former Winthrop credit union COO pleads guilty to stealing over $465K

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A former chief operating officer for Winthrop-University Hospital Employees Federal Credit Union in Mineola has been charged with embezzlement. (Photo by Jessica Parks)
Suzanne Silva, a former chief operating officer for Winthrop-University Hospital Employees Federal Credit Union in Mineola, pleaded guilty to embezzling $465,172 from the credit union. (Photo by Jessica Parks)

The former chief operating officer of Winthrop University Hospital Federal Credit Union pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $465,000 from the union and now faces up to 30 years in prison. 

Suzanne Silva, 35, of Carle Place used funds stolen from the Mineola-based credit union for vacations in the Caribbean and Mexico as well as digital purchases on Amazon and Etsy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern New York office.

She embezzled a total of $465,172.

The scheme took place between March of 2011 and June of 2018. Silva transferred the funds from the federal credit union’s account to her own and accounts in the names of relatives.

“Today’s guilty plea sends the message that those who engage in such criminal conduct will be caught and prosecuted,” U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said Wednesday.

In addition to a prison sentence, Silva faces a fine of up to $1 million and restitution of the stolen funds.

Winthrop Hospital University Hospital Employee Federal Credit Union terminated Silva’s employment last June, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. She was arrested on embezzlement charges in September.

“She was suspended and subsequently resigned as a result of the investigation by federal authorities for the alleged embezzlement of funds from the credit union,” said NYU Winthrop Hospital spokesperson J. Edmund Keating in a statement. “Forensic accountants who were brought in to investigate the alleged misappropriation of funds concluded that no employee funds were affected and that the monies that were taken came exclusively from credit union assets.”

Silva’s scheme did not hurt member assets or credit union operations, he said.

NYU Winthrop Hospital sponsors the credit union, but they are separate entities.

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