Bookkeeper indicted for stealing thousands from Carroll Gardens plumbing supply company
Allegedly Used Funds for Trips and Motel Stays
A Queens woman has been charged in a 159-count indictment with stealing almost $325,000 from a family-owned plumbing supply business in Carroll Gardens, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has learned.
To further the grand larceny scheme, it is alleged that the former bookkeeper repeatedly wrote checks from the company’s bank account to pay her credit card bills instead of paying vendors.
The defendant, Elizabeth Nero, aka., Elizabeth Leone, is charged with one count of second-degree grand larceny, 79 counts of first-degree falsifying business records and 79 counts of second-degree forgery. She is currently held on bail and is set to return to court on May 20.
According to the indictment, in December 2010, Nero was hired to work as a bookkeeper for Hicks Street Plumbing and Heating Supply, Inc., located on Hicks Street, in Carroll Gardens, which is owned by Matthew Ruggiero.
It is alleged that between July 2011 and October 2013, Nero used the company’s checking account to pay her own bills, specifically forging the name of Mr. Ruggiero or his wife, on company checks and using them to pay her credit card bills, instead of paying the company’s vendors and suppliers.
According to the Brooklyn district attorney’s investigation, among other things, Nero used the money to pay for airplane tickets, accommodations at a resort in the Poconos, travel to Disney World, motel stays and restaurant meals.
In an effort to conceal her alleged theft, Nero “whited out” the designated payee, i.e., her Chase, Discover or American Express account, after the checks were cashed and an image of the canceled check appeared on the company’s bank statement. After “whiting out” her payee, Nero would allegedly write in the name of a vendor or supplier.
“This defendant almost ruined a hardworking family’s small business by allegedly stealing a huge amount of money to fund her travels and pay her bills,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.
The case was investigated by the NYPD Financial Crimes Task Force and DA financial investigators.
-Information provided by the Office of the Kings County District Attorney