Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a New Hyde Park woman was arraigned April 6 on charges that she allegedly stole approximately $750,000 from a 91-year-old woman who entrusted her finances to the defendant’s employer, a Floral Park attorney. The defendant allegedly wrote checks to herself and used the victim’s credit cards to pay for airline tickets, beauty products, and other lifestyle expenses.
Elizabeth Reilly, 48, was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned April 6 before Judge Fran Ricigliano on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony). The defendant pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on May 6. If convicted, the defendant faces a potential maximum of 7-and-a-half to 15 years in prison.
“The victim believed she was doing the prudent thing when she entrusted her finances to her attorney’s office,” Donnelly said. “Instead, Reilly took advantage of her employee access, allegedly siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the victim by writing herself checks, saving the victim’s credit card information to the defendant’s PayPal account, and also using the victim’s credit card to shop for beauty products, airline tickets and pay for a gym membership on the victim’s dime. My office is committed to protecting Nassau County’s senior citizens who are frequently preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals in these fraud schemes.”
Donnelly said that, the defendant’s employer, a Floral Park attorney, had a verbal agreement with the victim that he would handle her finances as she began executing a Power of Attorney, Living Will and other documents with him. As part of this agreement, the law office’s address became the mailing address on record for the victim’s financial institutions and Reilly was given access to bank statements, check books, credit cards and financial statements.
According to the investigation, between 2016 and 2020, more than 250 checks were written from the victim’s bank accounts and allegedly made out to the defendant or to cash and deposited into the defendant’s accounts or an account held by the defendant’s husband. The deposited checks totaled more than $675,000.
Additionally, the victim’s credit card statements revealed hundreds of PayPal transactions for charitable donations to an animal shelter. The defendant’s PayPal records revealed the victim’s credit card was allegedly saved to Reilly’s PayPal account as a source for payments. Other credit card charges attributed to the victim’s credit card accounts included personal purchases, beauty products, a gym membership, and airline tickets. The investigation revealed that the defendant then allegedly paid the credit card balance, online, using the victim’s bank accounts. These payments were linked to a device allegedly located at Reilly’s home address.
The alleged theft was discovered in October 2020, when Reilly’s employer reviewed the victim’s credit card statements and saw questionable activity. The case was referred to NCDA’s Financial Crimes Bureau in February 2021.
This case is being prosecuted by Betty Rodriguez, Deputy Chief of the Financial Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Marc Gann, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.
—Submitted by the Office of District Attorney Nassau County