Former Finance Director Of Non-Profit Trade Association Charged With Embezzlement Scheme
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today charges against DONNA MURRAY, a former director of finance for a non-profit financial services trade association headquartered in Manhattan, for a months-long embezzlement scheme through which she stole approximately $490,000 from her employer. MURRAY is expected to be presented later today in the Southern District of Florida.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Donna Murray betrayed her employer’s trust by using her employer’s bank account — to which she had access as its finance director — as her personal ATM, stealing nearly half a million dollars and spending the stolen money on frivolous items, even including a cat treadmill. Today’s charges send a message to would-be embezzlers: if you abuse your position of trust for personal gain, we will hold you accountable.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “As we allege today, Ms. Murray misappropriated approximately $490,000 from her employer over several years and used the funds for a variety of personal uses. Violating her employer’s trust in the manner in which she did is a federal crime, and, as a consequence, she will now be forced to face the consequences of her actions.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint:
From in or about December 2017 through in or about August 2022, MURRAY was employed as the Director of Finance for a non-profit financial services trade association located in Manhattan. The organization, which has more than 600 institutional members, works to promote industry thought leadership, participate in industry advocacy work, educate members and stakeholders, and establish industry standards and best practices.
As the Director of Finance, MURRAY had access to the organization’s bank accounts. From at least October 2019 through at least in or about March 2021, MURRAY misappropriated approximately $490,000 from one of the organization’s bank accounts through more than 100 unauthorized wire transactions from the organization’s bank account to her personal bank account. To conceal the embezzlement from her employer, MURRAY fabricated recipients and invoice numbers purporting to be associated with the wire transactions in her employer’s general ledger, even though MURRAY was the true recipient of those wire transfers.
After siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employer’s bank account to her own, MURRAY withdrew from her bank account over $400,000 in cash on more than 300 occasions and used the remainder of the stolen funds for peer-to-peer online money transfers, loan payments, and consumer and luxury items, including Yves Saint Laurent and Michael Kors designer apparel; beauty, wellness, and skincare products and services; home furnishings and décor; hundreds of Amazon orders; smoke shop purchases; and a treadmill for cats.
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MURRAY, 38, of Staten Island, New York, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry J. Fang is in charge of the prosecution.
The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 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 should be treated as an allegation.