A Merrick woman was arrested Tuesday after allegedly embezzling more than $180,000 from St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Therese Iuzzolino, 45, of Merrick, was arraigned Tuesday and charged with second-degree grand larceny and four counts of first-degree falsifying business records.
“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,” Singas said. “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.”
Singas said between December 2011 and April 2017, Iuzzolino allegedly stole $183,203 from St. Mary’s Church by making online payments for personal credit cards through the church’s bank account as well as creating several electronic check vouchers.
During the five-year period, Iuzzolino was a part-time bookkeeper for the church and was responsible for preparing QuickBooks checks, maintaining the ledger, reviewing invoices and reconciling bank statements.
To conceal the alleged theft, which was discovered in May 2017 when the bank called the church over a suspicious $5,000 check from the church’s account, Iuzzolino allegedly falsified church records, deleting deposit and withdrawal entries from the ledger.
Iuzzolino allegedly spent the money, some of which came from the weekly church’s collections from parishioners, for payments to a jeweler and a car dealer as well as toy stores, gun shops, dental bills, computers, fast food and entertainment.
Bail was set at $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash, and Iuzzolino is due back in court on Sept. 11.
If convicted, Iuzzolino faces up to 15 years in prison.