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Seaford man stole from youth sports league, police say

Richard Barry, while employed by the Levittown-Wantagh-Seaford Little

Richard Barry, while employed by the Levittown-Wantagh-Seaford Little League, illegally transferred funds to pay his mortage, police said. (March 5, 2010) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Seaford man was arraigned Friday on charges he transferred money from a sports league he helps run to pay his own mortgage.

Nassau County police said Richard Barry, 44, of Bayberry Lane, transferred funds from the Levittown-Wantagh-Seaford Athletic Association into his personal home mortgage account with JPMorgan Chase.

Barry was arrested Thursday and charged with third-degree larceny. He was arraigned Friday before District Court Judge Norman Janowitz in First District Court in Hempstead. He was represented by the Legal Aid Society, a provider of legal services to the indigent.

His bail was set at $2,500 bond or $1,000 cash and he is due back in court Tuesday, said a spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Barry, who posted bail Friday, did not return phone calls and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

Association officials declined to comment or could not be reached Friday.

Barry, who is listed as the association's vice president in its 2008 New York State tax filing for charitable organizations, was also listed as executive vice president for Agape World Inc., a Hauppauge-based investment firm federal authorities said bilked investors out of $370 million.

Barry was not implicated in that case.

However, federal investigators detailed how Agape and the sports league became intertwined when Barry, in his role as league vice president, proposed that Agape fund a $300,000 makeover of a Seaford baseball field owned by the Levittown school district in May 2008.

The expenditures for the improvements, federal investigators said last year, became part of their probe into the scheme they allege was masterminded by Nicholas Cosmo, president of Agape World and a onetime board member of the sports association.

Agape funded the renovations that would benefit a National Tournament Baseball league, which Cosmo founded, and which was a traveling division of the Levittown- Wantagh-Seaford Athletic Association's baseball program.

At the time, Levittown school district Superintendent Herman Sirois welcomed the gift.

But as charges began to mount against Agape and its chief, the athletic association cut ties with Cosmo, who remains in jail while awaiting trial.

- With Gary Dymski

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