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Posted on: November 13, 2019

Former Employee Charged with Embezzling More than $260,000 from Elmont Library

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MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former employee of the Elmont Memorial Library was arraigned yesterday on grand larceny charges for allegedly stealing more than $260,000 from the Library over six years.

Sheila Seward, 58, of West Babylon was arraigned yesterday before Judge Paul Meli and charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony), Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree (an E felony) and Official Misconduct (an A misdemeanor). The defendant was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court December 4. If convicted of the top count, she faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.

“This defendant is accused of cooking the books of the Elmont Memorial Library for years, allegedly stealing more than $260,000,” DA Singas said. “Libraries provide important, educational and social resources to the public, and anyone caught stealing from them will be held to account.” 

Elmont Memorial Library Board of Trustees President Livingstone Young said, “The Elmont Memorial Library Board of Trustees appreciates the efforts of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. We have been fully cooperating as their investigation progressed and we will continue to do so until this legal matter has been resolved.”

DA Singas said from August of 2012 to September of 2018, the defendant allegedly stole a total of $262,190.20 from the Elmont Memorial Library.

As an Administrative Assistant for the Library, one of the defendant’s duties included preparing the payroll, giving her access to the Library’s finances. Beginning in August 2012, the defendant, without permission from Library officials, allegedly began to add excess payments labeled as ‘other compensation’ to her paychecks.

The amounts she allegedly added to her checks ranged from $39.00 to $6,900 and increased over time as she became more emboldened in her theft. In total, she allegedly added money to her paychecks more than 100 times.

Following a review of the Library’s financial statements by an outside accounting firm, Library officials caught on to her alleged scheme in September 2018 and reported the case to the NCDA.

The defendant allegedly used the money for medical bills and college tuition. She resigned from her position at the Library in August 2018.

Assistant District Attorney Heather Kalachman of DA Singas’ Public Corruption Bureau is prosecuting this case. Legal Aid represents the defendant.

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

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