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A.G. Schneiderman Announces Sentencing Of Former Non-Profit Employee For Diverting $400,000 For Personal Use

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2017

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SENTENCING OF FORMER NON-PROFIT EMPLOYEE FOR DIVERTING $400,000 FOR PERSONAL USE

Former Human Resources Manager Of Hope Community Inc. Sentenced To 1-3 Years In Prison

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of the former Human Resources Manager of the non-profit Hope Community, Inc., Chantel Rodriquez Pierre, for using her position to steal over $400,000 from the organization. Hope Community owns and operates low-income housing in Manhattan and is currently under contract with the New York City Department of Homeless Services for $8.9 million over five years to operate a homeless shelter for families. Rodriquez Pierre previously admitted that from June 2014 to February 2016, she manipulated the payroll system in order to issue bogus vacation time and additional reimbursements to employees at Hope Community. Instead of sending the money to the employees of the organization, Rodriquez Pierre ended up sending the money into accounts that she controlled. Rodriquez Pierre will serve 1 to 3 years in state prison, and will pay full restitution over time. Rodriquez Pierre was sentenced in front of Acting Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott.

“Non-profit employees who steal from taxpayers and use their organizations as a personal piggy bank will be punished,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I thank our law enforcement partners in the Department of Investigation for their continued partnership as we work to root out fraudsters who think they can skirt the rules.”

DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, “This defendant committed a reprehensible crime: Stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a not-for-profit that provides refuge to some of the City’s most vulnerable New Yorkers.  She cheated the system for personal gain. Now, she’ll serve prison time. DOI thanks the New York State Attorney General’s Office for their collaboration and partnership on this case.”

The Attorney General would like to thank the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their assistance with the investigation.

The case was investigated by Investigator Sixto Santiago under the supervision of Deputy Chief John McManus of the Investigations Bureau, which is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella and DOI’s Inspector General for City-funded Not-for-Profits, specifically Special Counsel Inna Spector and Auditor Jeffrey Freeman, under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General/Chief Forensic Auditor Ivette Morales, Inspector General Andrew Brunsden, Associate Commissioner Susan Lambiase, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Michael Carroll, and First Deputy Commissioner Lesley Brovner.   

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General John Chiara, Special Counsel of the Public Integrity Bureau, with assistance provided by former Legal Support Analyst Casey Lasda and Legal Support Analyst Graham Louis.  Forensic auditing analysis was provided by Forensic Auditor Kristina Kojamanian under the supervision of Deputy Chief Sandy Bizzarro of the Forensic Audit Section, which is led by Chief Edward J. Keegan, Jr. The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel G. Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz.

 

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