Cops: Woman defrauded church outreach
Three Catholic church outreach programs lost money to a Mastic woman who was arrested Friday, accused of obtaining funds from the charities by making false claims of financial need, police said.
Nicole Annuziato, 30, of 44 Dana Ave., was charged with three counts of petit larceny and one count of second degree scheme to defraud.
Annuziato obtained a total of about $1,500 from church programs in West Islip, East Islip and Rocky Point, Suffolk police said.
She went to each church with phony rent agreements for residences in each parish, police said. She claimed she needed money to pay rent. Someone at one of the charities was suspicious, police said, and notified authorities.
Third Precinct Lt. James Gurenfelder said police suspect other instances of this type of crime may have gone unreported. The churches "tend to be forgiving," Gurenfelder said. "But really, this takes away from the person who really needs it."
The three incidents that Annuziato is charged with occurred between May 20 and June 15, but Gurenfelder said, police are still investigating.
Police asked that anyone with information call the Third Precinct Crime Section at 631-854-8326.