A former bookkeeper for a New York pharmaceutical company is facing a host of charges after being busted embezzling more than a million dollars from her former employer, authorities announced.
Long Island resident Maria Porras, age 32, of Massapequa Park, a former office manager for the now-defunct Port Washington-based RXUSA in Nassau County, was arraigned on an 11-count indictment for allegedly stealing more than $1.38 million from three affiliated businesses tied to her boss.
Specifically, Porras was charged with:
- Three counts of second-degree grand larceny;
- Four counts of criminal tax fraud;
- Four counts of offering a false instrument for filing.
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said that between 2015 and 2019, Porras was employed as an office manager for RXUSA, and as part of her duties, Porras had access to the RXUSA’s bookkeeping system.
It is alleged that Porras’ position enabled her to generate checks written from RXUSA’s account and from the accounts of two other affiliated companies, Eveready Wholesale Drugs, Inc., and PBM America Inc.
The owner of the companies, Robert Drucker, died in March 2017 and the companies closed in December 2019.
Porras’ scheme came to an end on Nov. 11, 2020, when she was arrested by investigators from the Port Washington Police Department after it was uncovered that she allegedly deposited checks from RXUSA written out to the company’s vendors and diverted incoming checks into her personal account.
Further investigation found that Porras had allegedly embezzled $1,384,487.71 from the three companies between 2015 and 2020.
Smith noted that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance also launched a separate investigation, which revealed that Porras failed to report the income she had allegedly stolen on her personal tax returns and failed to pay the full taxes she owed from 2016 to 2019.
“This (woman) allegedly abused her position as an office manager at RXUSA, using her access to the company’s bookkeeping system – and the accounts of two other affiliate companies – to deposit checks into her personal account and line her pockets with more than a million dollars of the companies’ funds over five years,” Smith stated.
“Unscrupulous employees who choose greed over principle will be held accountable by this office for their actions.”
Porras was released and scheduled to return to court on Jan. 13, 2022. If convicted of the top charge, she faces a term of between five and 15 years in prison.
“Taxpayers who fraudulently evade their tax obligations deprive the state and our communities critical funding for vital public programs and services,” New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Amanda Hiller said.
“We’ll continue to work with all levels of law enforcement, including the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, to ensure those who illegally profit at the expense of others are held accountable.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.