A former employee at a Long Island library admitted to embezzling more than $260,000 over six years from her employer.
West Babylon resident Sheila Seward, 58, who worked at Elmont Memorial Library, pleaded guilty to grand larceny after being charged with falsifying business records and official misconduct in November last year.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said that Seward was the former administrative assistant for the library, with access to the library’s finances.
Beginning in August 2012, Seward began adding extra payments labeled as “other compensation” to her paychecks without permission.
Singas said that Seward added between $39 and $6,900 to her paychecks, and she “became more emboldened in her theft,” and began increasing the amounts she stole over time. It is alleged that she added money to her paychecks more than 100 times.
Library officials discovered the alleged theft after reviewing financial statements by an outside accounting firm.
Seward was caught in September last year, prompting an investigation by Singas’ office.
Singas said that Seward alleged used the money for medical bills and college tuition. She resigned from the library in August last year.
“Sheila Seward pilfered more than a quarter-million dollars from the Elmont Memorial Library over a period of six years and used that money for college tuition and medical bills,” Singas said. “Public libraries are the cornerstones of our neighborhoods and my office will aggressively work to return this stolen money to the Elmont community.”
When she is sentenced on Monday, Nov. 16, Seward is expected to receive a term of between one to three years in prison, and will be required to pay $236,752.50 in restitution.
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