According to reports, Yaasmin Hooey, the former finance director for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, was arraigned today in Manhattan Supreme Court after the NYPD arrested her on an open indictment charging Grand Larceny and Embezzlement. It is alleged that Hooey skimmed over $300,000 by depositing 65 checks from the Girl Scouts and depositing those checks in her account. Trying to be “cute” and citing the obvious while also being firm with his words, New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance stated, “Nonprofits are not personal cookie jars.” Although it is easy to jest, the allegations are no laughing matter. In fact, among many felony charges, Hooey faces Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. A conviction for this “C” felony crime is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. Compounding matters, it is alleged that Hooey also failed to report $142,000 in New York State taxes.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Hooey did not use the allegedly stolen funds to tend to a sick family member or some other noble cause. Instead, Metro-North Railroad tickets, a gym membership, and clothing, cosmetic laser procedures, and cruises were paid for from the ill gotten gains. Prosecutors further claim that Hooey spent $13,000 on a diamond ring in over $18,000 at bars and restaurants. Unfortunately for Hooey, prosecutors’ jobs have been relatively easy as wires and checks were deposited from Girl Scout accounts into personal accounts. In other words, the “paper trail” was not that long.
Apparently, prosecutors felt no reason to waste time or even try to get a statement from Hooey as they voted out an “NA” indictment with the Grand Jury. These types of indictments occur in strong cases before a person is even arrested. Although I could be wrong about the “NA” indictment, generally when a person is arrested on a felony or misdemeanor they appear in criminal court. If and when the case is indicted, the matter proceeds to Supreme Court. Upon her arrest, it appears Hooey was brought directly to Supreme Court.
In addition to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, prosecutors obtained an indictment for Forgery in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. Forgery, Possession of a Forged Instrument and Criminal Tax Fraud are all “D” felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison. Falsifying Business Records and Offering a False Instrument for Filing are “”E felonies punishable by up to four years in prison.
While Hooey and her criminal lawyer have time to identify and set forth a defense, prosecutors will likely lean hard on the defendant due to the amount of money allegedly stolen and the nature of the victims. Whatever her defense may be, Hooey should implement that defense as soon as possible to avoid the likelihood of spending more time in a place she will not want to be.
For a wealth of information on the above crimes in New York, please follow the highlighted links. There you will find a description of the crimes as well as analysis of relevant legal decisions and cases in the news. Additionally, a search of the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com will reveal the same.
Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The Grand Larceny attorneys and New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law represent the accused through the New York City region.