A Glen Cove bookkeeper has been charged with stealing more than $60,000 from a 92-year-old client, according to the office of acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Singas' office said Deborah Schneider, 52, was charged in a 10-count felony complaint with second-degree grand larceny and nine counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. She was arraigned Tuesday before Nassau County District Court Judge Paul Meli and held on $20,000 bond or $10,000 cash bail, Singas' office said. Schneider is due back in court Thursday.
Prosecutors said Schneider was working as a bookkeeper for the Kings Point woman in November 2013. The victim's daughter asked about her mother's finances and learned that money was missing from her bank accounts -- prosecutors contend Schneider was altering checks signed by the woman by adding the word "hundred" to the amount line and adding two zeros to the numerical amount, in effect changing a $25 check to $2,500, Singas' office said.
In total, Schneider is charged with stealing $60,400 from the victim. All of the altered checks were deposited into Schneider's account, authorities said.
"The defendant was a trusted employee but allegedly betrayed that trust and stole more than $60,000 from an elderly woman," Singas said in a statement. "Seniors are especially vulnerable to economic crimes and I encourage anyone who suspects an elderly person was victimized to contact my office."
If convicted of the top charge, Schneider faces up to 15 years in prison, Singas' office said.
Schneider's attorney, Steven Politi of Central Islip, said his client denies the charges and that he has not seen any of the allegedly altered checks.
"We look forward to fighting these charges and exposing the truth," Politi said.