A New Hyde Park woman was arraigned on Wednesday after allegedly stealing $750,000 from an elderly woman, according to a release from the office of Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.
Elizabeth Reilly, 48, allegedly wrote checks to herself and used the 91-year-old victim’s credit card to purchase beauty products, airline tickets and other expenses, according to the release.
Reilly obtained the finances through her employer, a Floral Park attorney with whom the 91-year-old woman entrusted her finances, according to the DA.
As part of Reilly’s employment, officials said, she had access to checkbooks, credit cards, bank statements and other financial instruments, officials said. Neither the victim or the employer’s identity were disclosed in the release.
Officials said more than 250 checks were written from the victim’s bank accounts between 2016 and 2020.
The checks, ultimately totaling more than $675,000, were either made out to Reilly or to cash and then deposited into accounts owned by Reilly or her husband, according to officials.
Aside from airfare, a gym membership and beauty products, the victim’s credit card statements also showed hundreds of PayPal transactions to a local animal shelter, according to the release.
Officials said the credit card balance was paid online using the victim’s bank accounts, with the investigation revealing a device in Reilly’s home being the source of the payments.
“The victim believed she was doing the prudent thing when she entrusted her finances to her attorney’s office,” Donnelly said in the release. “Instead, Reilly took advantage of her employee access, allegedly siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the victim by writing herself checks, saving the victim’s credit card information to the defendant’s PayPal account, and also using the victim’s credit card to shop for beauty products, airline tickets and pay for a gym membership on the victim’s dime.”
On Thursday, Reilly was indicted by a grand jury and charged with second-degree grand larceny. Reilly, who is due back in court on May 6, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the maximum penalty.
Reilly’s attorney, Marc Gann, told Newsday that his client “is embarrassed to be even accused of these kinds of charges.”
Efforts to reach Gann for further comment on the matter were unavailing.