Former bookkeeper admits $1M theft from NYC cemetery

April 17, 2013 at 12:36 PM
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NEW YORK, April 17 (UPI) -- A former bookkeeper and director at a non-profit New York City cemetery has admitted embezzling almost $1 million.

Ilana Friedman, 51, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the theft from the United Hebrew Cemetery on Staten Island, the New York Post reported. Friedman and her husband, Arthur, the cemetery's chief operating officer, have agreed to pay $1.1 million restitution, prosecutors said.

Arthur Friedman has not been criminally charged.

Investigators say Ilana Friedman used the money for mundane items like groceries from Costco as well as for tickets to Broadway shows and other luxuries, the New York Daily News said. She admitted embezzling $850,000 and charging $150,000 in personal expenses to a cemetery credit card.

"The Friedmans abused their posts at this Staten Island cemetery to enrich themselves," state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

He said the couple and "will now pay for their shameless misconduct."

Under the Friedmans' agreement, both are barred from ever working in the cemetery business.

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