Two former employees of a Sunset Park nonprofit have been indicted for allegedly pocketing approximately $17,000 from the organization and at least five clients that it served.
According to District Attorney Ken Thompson, between November, 2014 and February of this year, 50-year-old Nancy Robayo and her daughter, Elisa Lascano, allegedly acted together to steal at least $7,000 from the Juan Neumann Center – a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help that provides local residents with free and low-cost immigration services – and defraud its clients of another $10,000.
Both defendants were employed by the center – Robayo as a bookkeeper and Lascano in a clerical position.
“These defendants not only preyed upon and stole from vulnerable people seeking help, they also undermined the valuable work of a local organization trying to provide much-needed services to Brooklyn’s immigrant community,” said Thompson.
The mother-daughter duo’s duties and responsibilities at the center included maintaining receipt books and submitting immigration forms to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. The pair allegedly concealed their theft by altering amounts written on carbon copies of receipts, misreporting the amounts written on the receipts, maintaining separate receipt books hidden from the center and warning their clients to speak only with them and to no other employees regarding their petitions and applications.
The two – who face a combined 12-count indictment — were implicated when another employee reviewed records and found client receipts that were not recorded in log books or deposited into the center’s bank account.
The mother later turned herself in to the police and admitted to making off with the money.