Parents broke into bitter applause Friday as a Rockville Centre financial planner left court after admitting to stealing more than $1 million from a Town of Hempstead recreation program serving special-needs children and adults.
Drew Morgan, 44, pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny. He'll serve 3 1/3 to 10 years in prison and will have to pay back the program and other victims under a plea deal, authorities said.
Morgan admitted to stealing a total of about $1.7 million from Camp ANCHOR in Lido Beach and others, telling Nassau County Judge Philip Grella he used the money for "personal expenses."PhotosRecent LI mug shotsDataLI crime stats
Prosecutors said Morgan used leadership positions at two camp-related nonprofits to steal much of the money, which he spent on golf, dining out, travel, home furnishings -- even groceries and gasoline.
"He took responsibility for his actions. It's a sad day," Morgan's Manhattan attorney, Gary Farrell, said while leaving court with his client, who didn't speak.
But Floral Park resident Peggy Mulhall, 56, confronted Morgan, telling him: "My son's name is on that building!"
Camp counselors Michael Mulhall, 22, and sisters Paige Malone, 19, and Jamie Malone, 22, died in a 2010 car crash on the Meadowbrook State Parkway, and a new recreation center in Lido Beach has since been named for the former Floral Park residents.
Authorities said Morgan was treasurer and a board member for Anchor Building Fund -- set up to fund the center's construction -- and siphoned donations from 2008 to 2013. Officials said Morgan's daughter attends the camp.
"There's no justice until all of that money is returned," said Neil Mulhall, 56, Michael's father.
Last year, a grand jury indicted Morgan on multiple grand larceny counts. Authorities said Morgan, the head of DKM Financial Corp. and owner of Rockstead Venture Capital, also stole nearly a half-million dollars from two sisters who hired him as a financial planner. Their complaint kicked off the probe.
Authorities said a nonprofit runs Camp ANCHOR with the Town of Hempstead. But town officials have said they had no control over the building fund from which Morgan stole.
"Parents have spent many, many, many hours of our own time -- while we have children that need supervision 24 hours, seven days a week -- raising money that helped Drew Morgan live a lifestyle that many of us . . . do not live," said camp parent Lisa Davis, 43, of Baldwin. "It's a travesty what he did."