Baldwin resident pleads guilty to stealing nearly $2.3M from nonprofit employer

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By Dan Sears

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A Baldwin resident has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with embezzling nearly $2.3 million from  her employer, a New York City-funded nonprofit in Brooklyn that provides employment and education services for those in need, officials said.

Marcia Joseph pleaded guilty on Friday in the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“With her guilty plea today, the defendant admitted that she failed in her duty to serve a nonprofit organization by stealing millions of dollars for personal expenses that were meant to be spent in its mission helping vulnerable members of the community,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a written statement.

“When she is sentenced, the defendant will learn the penalty for her dishonesty and greed,” he added.

“This defendant created a company for the sole purpose of siphoning $2.3 million from the city-funded nonprofit where she worked,” Jocelyn Strauber, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, said in a written statement.

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“She took valuable funds meant for the educational and employment needs of economically disadvantaged New Yorkers for her personal profit,” Stauber added.

Officials say that Joseph was the senior fiscal officer of a nonprofit they are calling Company-1, a 501(c)(3) that provides services to support employment opportunities for people with emotional, developmental, and/or physical disabilities, and those who are economically disadvantaged.

According to officials, Joseph established Prestige Business Services, a company that “purpoted to provide specialized services to other companies on behalf of Company-1.” But officials say that Prestige did not conduct any work, and instead “was used by Joseph for the exclusive purpose of embezzling more than $2.3 million from Company-1 over a 16-year period.”

That $2.3 million, officials said, was used for mortgage, credit card and car payments, Amazon and other expenses, including home remodeling and spa expenses. She also withdrew and disbursed cash to herself, as well as family and friends, officials said.

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When sentenced, she faces up to 20 years in prison, officials said.

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