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February 1, 2013

Woodmere Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $634K From Local Synagogue

Zucker used access as congregation’s treasurer to steal money; faces up to 7 years in prison

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a Woodmere man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $634,000 from a local synagogue by wiring cash from the congregation’s accounts into his own.Isaac Zucker

Isaac Zucker, 49, pleaded guilty this morning to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. He faces up to seven years in prison at his April 9 sentencing.

Rice said that between his election to treasurer in 2006 and June 2011, Zucker stole $634,960 from the Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere. Zucker, as treasurer, was responsible for paying bills for and making deposits and used his access to the synagogue’s accounts to steal the cash by wiring it into his law practice’s business account and writing himself checks from the congregation’s accounts.

The theft was discovered in June 2011 when checks meant to pay the synagogue’s bills began bouncing. Doctored bank statements provided to the congregation’s leadership by Zucker showed one account’s balance to be $200,000. In reality, it was only $50.

Zucker was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department’s Crimes Against Property Squad at a hotel near MacArthur Airport on June 29, 2011.

“Houses of worship act as beacons of education, guidance, friendship, and trust and for this defendant to violate that sanctity in order to fill his own pockets is unconscionable,” Rice said. “He could not escape the years of lies and deceit, however, and for that my office will be seeking full restitution in addition to any prison sentence he may receive.”

Assistant District Attorney Peter Mancuso of the Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Zucker is represented by Joseph A. Grob, Esq.