District Attorney

Posted on: February 29, 2016

Former N. Hempstead Employee Arrested for Embezzling More Than $98,000 from Waste Mgmt Authority

HELEN McCANN 50.jpg

Helen McCann was 16-year employee of town

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former North Hempstead employee was arrested today for allegedly embezzling more than $98,000 from the Solid Waste Management Authority between May 2014 and January 2016.

Helen McCann, 51, of Roslyn Heights, was arraigned today before District Court Judge Joseph Girardi on charges of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree as a Public Corruption Crime (a B felony) and Corrupting the Government in the 2nd Degree (a C felony). The defendant was conditionally released to probation and required to surrender her passport. McCann is expected back in court on March 3 and if convicted of the top count faces a maximum of 8 and 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

“For more than a year and a half the defendant allegedly stole money in increments from the Town of North Hempstead and amassed more than $98,000 in ill-gotten gains,” DA Singas said. “Breaching the public trust is a serious matter and I thank the Town for alerting us about the money missing from the Solid Waste Management Authority.”

“We brought this matter to the District Attorney as soon as we became aware of the discrepancies at the Solid Waste Management Authority. We are cooperating fully and are confident that the DA will conduct a thorough investigation to see that justice is done. Any breach of public trust on the part of any Town employee will not be tolerated,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.

DA Singas said that the Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) runs a “Resident Drop-Off” program on Sundays and the authority accepts yard waste, residential municipal solid waste and residentially- generated construction and demolition debris for a fee. The authority charges $5 for the first 100 pounds brought in per vehicle and $1 for each additional 20 pounds.

The employees who work at the facility (the “Scale House”) receive the cash payments, generate receipts and enter the information in a computer program, which records the garbage taken and the amount of cash. An employee reconciles the amount of cash in hand with the cash taken in, per the scale reports.

An attendant, on the next business day, typically brings the scale reports and the cash to the authority’s administrative office and an employee at the office again reconciles the cash with the reports, deposits the cash into SWMA’s Chase Bank account and sends a memo to the Town of North Hempstead’s Comptroller’s Office detailing the amount received at the Scale House and attaches the bank deposit slip and the deposit ticket/receipt.

Helen McCann was employed by the Town of North Hempstead starting in 1998 and was transferred in January 2014 to SWMA as an administrative assistant. Beginning on January 26, 2014, the defendant was responsible for receiving the cash and scale reports on Mondays and for depositing the cash at a bank.

Starting on approximately May 11, 2014, McCann’s weekly deposits into the bank account were often less than the amount of the cash reported on the scale reports. On many occasions, the defendant allegedly made no bank deposits at all. Yearly deposits in the account decreased during this period, with approximately $76,352 collected in 2013, $62,649 in 2014 and $17,467 in 2015.

It is alleged that during the period of May 11, 2014 to January 11, 2016, McCann embezzled approximately $98,862.91 from her workplace.

The Town of North Hempstead Comptroller’s Office notified the Solid Waste Management Authority about the significant decrease in revenue in mid-January 2016. Approximately a week later, the Town referred the matter to the NCDA and an investigation was opened on January 21.

McCann was subsequently terminated as a Town employee.

Assistant District Attorney Jesse Aviram of DA Singas’ Public Corruption Bureau is prosecuting the case. McCann is represented by Rick Librett, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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