Robert Skinner, 50, of Bohemia was arrested Tuesday on charges...

Robert Skinner, 50, of Bohemia was arrested Tuesday on charges that he stole money from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (May 4, 2010) Credit: SCPD

A Bohemia man remains in police custody after officials say he stole money from the Make-A-Wish Foundation using the routing and account numbers on a check meant to fund a family trip to Hawaii for his sick son.

Robert Skinner, 50, of 907 Pearl St., used bank account information from a Make-A-Wish check provided to his family for the vacation to pay $1,500 in bills, according to Suffolk Police and the foundation.

Police arrested Skinner at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of stealing the money, police said.

Suffolk County police said Skinner was driving with a stolen New York driver's license and was impaired by drugs when he was pulled over. They said he also had a forged Suffolk County Parks permit and a handicapped parking permit that did not belong to him.

He was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and driving while ability impaired by drugs.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Neighbors said Skinner's teenage son suffers from a bone disorder. No one answered the door of Skinner's house in Bohemia Wednesday.

Skinner was scheduled to be arraigned in First District Court Wednesday, but Molloy said he remained hospitalized after complaining of chest pains the day before. Molloy said Skinner may be arraigned in court Thursday if hospital officials deem him well enough.

Karine Hollander, president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County, said this is the first time in the chapter's 27-year history that a person had illegally accessed its account. The foundation has recovered the stolen funds, she said.

Hollander said the foundation doesn't plan to change its policies. "Our system and our controls worked," Hollander said. "We don't want people not to support us. We are good stewards of their money."

With John Valenti

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