Bookkeeper Arrested for Allegedly Embezzling More Than $180,000 From Church

Therese Iuzzolino is accused of spending the money on payments to a jeweler and automobile dealer

What to Know

  • A church bookkeeper is accused of embezzling more than $180,000 from a house of worship in Long Island, authorities say
  • Therese Iuzzolino, 45, of Merrick was arraigned on charges of grand larceny and four counts of falsifying business records
  • Prosecutors say Iuzzolina allegedly spent the money on payments to a jeweler, a car dealer, toy stores and a gun shop, among other places

A church bookkeeper is accused of embezzling more than $180,000 from a house of worship in Long Island over a period of five years, authorities say.

Therese Iuzzolino, 45, of Merrick was arraigned Tuesday on charges of grand larceny in the second degree and four counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Signas.

Prosecutors say that Iuzzolino, a part-time bookkeeper at St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor, allegedly stole $183,203.64 between December 2011 to April 2017 from the church by making online payments from the church’s bank account for various personal credit cards, as well as by creating several electronic check vouchers.

Allgedly, in order to conceal the theft, Iuzzolino falsified church records by deleting deposit and withdrawal entries.

The alleged theft was discovered in May 2017 after the bank called the church regarding a suspicious $5,000 check drawn on a church account. Iuzzolino was subsequently fired.

According to prosecutors, Iuzzolino allegedly spent the money, some of which came from the church’s collections from parishioners, on payments to a jeweler, an automobile dealer, toy stores, gun shops, dental expenses, computers, fast food, and entertainment.

Iuzzolino’s bail was set at $30,000. She is due back in court Sept. 11.

If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

In a statement to NBC 4 New York, Iuzzolino’s attorney, J. Ceasar Galarza, said: "My client categorically and unconditionally denies the allegations that have been leveled against her by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. She has the full support of her family and we look forward to addressing these charges in court."

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