A former treasurer for the Carle Place Fire Department was arraigned Thursday on charges he stole more than $60,000 from the department over four years, using an official credit card to make “frivolous purchases” from Apple iTunes and NASCAR, prosecutors said.
William Weingarten, 65, was charged with second-degree grand larceny, two counts of second-degree forgery, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, two counts of first-degree falsifying business records, two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, and official misconduct.
He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count against him, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Thursday.
Weingarten’s defense attorney Peter Rubin, of Rockville Centre, said his client pleaded not guilty at arraignment. Rubin declined to comment further.
Weingarten was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Nov. 16.
Singas said that, between Jan. 1, 2014, and this Sept. 24, Weingarten used a department-issued credit card to make unauthorized purchases totaling $61,589.37.
Most of those purchases were from Apple iTunes, Singas said, though others include NASCAR membership, auto parts, gasoline, electronics and meals at restaurants.
“These funds — more than $60,000 — were intended for vital fire department services,” Singas said, “but instead were allegedly pilfered by this defendant and used for frivolous purchases . . . ”
Before his resignation from the fire department, Singas said, Weingarten had served 22 years with Carle Place.
The fire department board referred the case to the district attorney’s office on Sept. 21, Singas said, following an audit.