Long Island

Long Island Woman Admits Stealing From Summer Camp for Years

Melanie Bergstedt diverted payments for four years, prosecutors and court documents say, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for local youth

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A 47-year-old Long Island woman pleaded guilty this week to stealing about $250,000 from a local summer camp while she was employed there, Suffolk County prosecutors say.

Melanie Bergstedt, copped to second-degree grand larceny on Wednesday for embezzling from the camp, which is headquartered in Commack. Prosecutors say she stole the money over a four-year period, between 2016 and 2020.

During that time, Bergstedt admitted diverting payments made by customers into other bank accounts, according to court records. The bank accounts were opened under similar names as the camp without the owner’s knowledge or permission in an effort to conceal the theft and to use those funds for her own personal benefit, the papers said.

"This defendant placed her own greed above the welfare of children by stealing money earmarked for a summer camp and pocketed it for her own personal use," Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in announcing the plea. "If you steal from local businesses, you are also harming the Suffolk County community at large. Accordingly, you will be held to account for your actions and legally forced to repay the money you stole."

The attorney listed for Bergstedt couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the plea. Her client must pay restitution to the victim. If not, she faces three to 15 years in prison at a May sentencing hearing, prosecutors say.

Copyright NBC New York
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