A former bookkeeper for St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for embezzling more than $180,000 from the church, the Nassau County district attorney’s office said.
Therese Iuzzolino, 45, was also given five years of probation and will pay $183,203.64 in restitution, the amount that she stole. She paid $25,000 at her sentencing.
The Merrick resident pleaded guilty to grand larceny in late February for the theft that spanned from December 2011 to April 2017, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
As bookkeeper, Iuzzolino used church funds to digitally pay for personal credit cards and create electronic check vouchers, Singas said. She then spent that money at a jeweler, an automobile dealer, gun shops and toy stores as well as for dental fees, computers, fast food and entertainment.
“This defendant was a trusted member of the St. Mary’s Church family, but abused that trust and stole more than $180,000 from church coffers,” Singas said. “Stealing from a house of worship is an especially contemptible act and I am grateful to St. Mary’s for their cooperation during this case.”
In May 2017, the church’s bank called St. Mary’s about a suspicious $5,000 check, which led to the discovery of the embezzlement and the church firing Iuzzolino.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre reimbursed St. Mary’s for the stolen funds and will receive Iuzzolino’s restitution payment.
“She took responsibility for her actions,” Iuzzolino’s attorney J. Caesar Galarza said in February after his client’s guilty plea. “She was in a dark place and perhaps not thinking clearly. She got some help and she decided to own and take responsibility for her actions.”