An NYPD officer stole more than $34,000 from his landlord by forging papers to qualify for reduced rent payments reserved for active members of the military, Nassau prosecutors said Thursday.
Eric Smith, 37, of East Meadow, is a veteran. The police officer served in the New York Army Air National Guard, and from 2011 to 2014, was assigned to the Joint Task Force Empire Shield. This full-time position made him eligible for lower rent payments, District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
From 2015 through 2017, Smith gave his landlord, Balfour Beatty LLC, forged military orders to continue paying reduced rent at Mitchel Homes in East Meadow, she said.
He is charged with grand larceny in third degree, among other felonies, Singas said in a statement.
“This benefit exists to help armed services members while they are deployed in defense of our county, but this defendant allegedly filed multiple fake orders and stole more than $34,000 in the process,” Singas said.
Smith’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
Prosecutors said he could be sentenced to 2 1⁄3 to 7 years in prison if found guilty of these felonies: grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records.
On Thursday, Smith was arraigned and released on his own recognizance; he had surrendered to the Nassau district attorney’s detective investigators, who worked with the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, prosecutors said.