Skip to main content
Press Release

Charity Founder And CEO Charged With Embezzling Millions From Organization And Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Thomas Fattorusso, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced today the unsealing of a Complaint charging KEITH TAYLOR with defrauding a charity he ran by embezzling approximately $2.5 million in donations meant for low-income families and spending them instead on personal expenses including rent in a luxury apartment building in midtown Manhattan, food delivery services, cosmetic surgery, and lavish meals at some of New York City’s most expensive restaurants.  TAYLOR was arrested today and will be presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Keith Taylor falsely claimed that donations to his charity would help working families with unexpected expenses that put them at risk of homelessness.  Instead, Taylor allegedly took those donations to pay for his meals at upscale restaurants, rent for a luxury apartment in a Manhattan skyscraper, and even cosmetic surgery.  Taylor allegedly defrauded the charity’s donors and unconscionably took money from the pockets of those most in need, and he is now facing federal charges for his alleged crimes.”

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso said: “Taylor acted like a do-gooder, founding a charity meant to help underserved communities.  But it’s alleged he later took this as an opportunity to victimize both his donors and his own charity by pocketing millions in donations to live a luxurious lifestyle.  Today’s arrest means that Taylor can no longer allegedly exploit the kindness of others for his own gain, and he now faces the consequences of his alleged greed.”

As alleged in the Complaint:[1]

KEITH TAYLOR founded a charity in 2002 that used a crowd-sourcing funding model to help low-income workers pay for unexpected expenses like medical bills or broken appliances.  Its mission was to provide short-term financial assistance to individuals and families that were living paycheck-to-paycheck who were faced with an unexpected crisis or expense that they could not pay.

Between at least 2016 and May 2024, TAYLOR embezzled more than $2.5 million from the charity and its donors and used that money to fund his lavish personal spending.  TAYLOR regularly dined at Per Se, Jean-Georges, Masa, and Marea in midtown Manhattan, sometimes as often as twice a day, spending more than $320,000 of charity funds at New York City restaurants and steakhouses.  Funds donated to the charity paid over $300,000 of TAYLOR’s rent for a luxury apartment on the 30th floor of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper.  TAYLOR also used charity funds to buy himself expensive electronics, to pay over $100,000 to food delivery services, and to pay for his own cosmetic surgery.  TAYLOR put over $270,000 of charity funds directly into his personal brokerage account.  TAYLOR also routinely paid his other personal expenses from the charity’s bank accounts.

TAYLOR attempted to hide his embezzlement of charity funds by creating a fake board of directors and claiming it had approved his personal spending.  TAYLOR used the names of his acquaintances and falsely listed them on the charity’s website as board members.  TAYLOR’s acquaintances who were listed as the charity’s board members included a bartender from Jean-Georges, a friend, and his house-cleaner, none of whom ever attended a board meeting or even knew that they had been listed on the charity’s website as board members.

For at least the calendars years of 2017 through 2022, TAYLOR did not file personal income tax returns or pay income taxes on the income he received from the charity.

*                *                *

TAYLOR, 56, of New York, New York, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison, and six counts of tax evasion, each of which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The minimum and maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the exceptional investigative work of IRS-CI and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebecca R. Delfiner and Eli J. Mark are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 11, 2024

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 24-209