Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow on Feb. 27, 2019.

Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow on Feb. 27, 2019. Credit: Barry Sloan

Nassau University Medical Center’s former payroll director is facing felony charges for allegedly embezzling more than $121,000 from the facility, prosecutors announced Thursday.

A grand jury indicted Arlena Mann, 46, of Bay Shore, on grand larceny and falsifying business records charges and she could go to prison for up to 5 to 15 years if convicted, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

“We’ll address the allegations in court. They’re merely allegations,” Mann’s Garden City attorney, David Ayres, told Newsday by phone after his client pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Thursday.

District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement that Mann “allegedly used her access to key bookkeeping and payroll software to bilk the cash-strapped public hospital” out of funds she said the facility “sorely needs to provide adequate services and patient care to Nassau County residents.”

The alleged crimes occurred between March 2019 and July 2021.

Prosecutors said Mann changed the banking information for ex-employees to six bank accounts she controlled while using the hospital’s payroll software to supposedly make payments to NUMC staffers who recently had left their jobs.

Mann made more than 50 financial transfers to herself, then voided the payments in NUMC’s bookkeeping software to make it look like no money had been sent, according to the district attorney’s office.

A different payroll employee discovered the alleged theft last spring and Mann lost her job in July after an internal investigation that led to law enforcement involvement and her indictment, prosecutors said Thursday.

“This was an unfortunate incident by one former employee. We are pleased to work with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office to protect taxpayers’ money," the hospital's general counsel, Megan Ryan, said Thursday in a statement.

The public benefit corporation that runs the hospital had a $102.3 million budget deficit in 2020, a 60 percent increase from 2019, prompting warnings from outside auditors that Nassau County's only public hospital may not survive, Newsday reported last year.

Latest videos