Former Senior Fiscal Officer for Non-Profit Organization Charged With Multi-Million Dollar Embezzlement Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Allegedly Stole Nearly $2.3 Million From Charity for Personal Expenses Including Home Remodeling, Spa Treatments, and Mortgage Payments
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Marcia Joseph with wire fraud in connection with her embezzlement of approximately $2.3 million from her employer, a non-profit organization (Company-1) that provides employment and education services for those in need. Joseph was arrested earlier today and made her initial appearance this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo. The defendant was released on a $50,000 bond.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Jocelyn E. Strauber, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), announced the arrest and charges.
“As alleged, Joseph lined her pockets with millions of dollars that she stole from a charity,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Money that should have gone to support those with employment and educational needs instead was used to pay for the defendant’s personal expenses, including mortgage payments, spa treatments, home remodeling, and landscaping. Today’s charges send a message to those entrusted with positions of trust that if you abuse that trust for personal gain, you will be arrested and prosecuted.”
“Depleting resources procured for those with special needs is among the most egregious of financial crimes. As we allege today, Joseph did just that by embezzling millions of dollars from the company for which she worked, diverting money away from programs for those in need and right into her pockets. We remind the public that those who engage in similar schemes will be met with a similar fate,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.
“This former senior fiscal officer at a Brooklyn-based nonprofit embezzled more than $2.3 million by submitting to the nonprofit fictitious invoices for services, some of which purportedly related to City contracts, for payment to an entity that the defendant created and controlled, according to the criminal complaint,” stated DOI Commissioner Strauber. “As charged, the defendant used her position of trust and responsibility to line her pockets at the expense of a nonprofit that receives City funding and provides critical services to vulnerable New Yorkers. I thank the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York for their partnership in this investigation and their commitment to protect important public resources from fraud and abuse.”
According to the complaint, Joseph was the senior fiscal officer of Company-1, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Brooklyn, New York that provides comprehensive services to support employment opportunities for persons with emotional, developmental, and/or physical disabilities, and those who are economically disadvantaged. Joseph set up a company called Prestige Business Services (“Prestige”), which purported to provide specialized services to other companies on behalf of Company-1. In truth, Prestige performed no 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. Joseph used the money paid by Company-1 to Prestige to pay for numerous personal expenses, including approximately $235,000 in mortgage payments; 207,000 in credit card payments; $98,000 in car payments; $45,000 in Amazon expenses; and various other personal items, such as home remodeling, spa treatment, landscaping expenses, and luxury goods. Joseph also withdrew nearly $100,000 in cash, disbursed approximately $16,000 to friends and family, and issued approximately $50,000 in Prestige checks to herself.
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States
MARCIA JOSEPH (also known as “Marcia James,” “Marcia Lewis,” and “Marcia Peters”)
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 23-MJ-883
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
Updated October 11, 2023