District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea in Million Dollar Embezzlement Case

January 23, 2017

Defendant Admits Stealing Over One Million Dollars from Her Employer

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on January 23, 2017, Donna Ortiz, 51, of Pine Island, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the First Degree in connection with a theft from the Village of Florida company where she was employed as an office manager. During the plea, Ortiz admitted to stealing $1,362,477.42 between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2015, by fraudulently diverting money into her own bank accounts, disguising those transactions as legitimate payments to company vendors. Pursuant to the plea agreement placed on the record at the time of the plea, when Ortiz is sentenced by Orange County Court Judge Robert H. Freehill on March 14, 2017, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will be recommending that Ortiz be sentenced to four to twelve years in state prison and be ordered to pay back all of the stolen funds.

The investigation into Ortiz commenced when Ortiz’s employer made a complaint to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The case was investigated by David Curtin, an Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Special Investigations Unit, and District Attorney Office Criminal Investigators, who uncovered evidence revealing fraudulent transfers beyond what was originally reported. The District Attorney’s Office was aided in the investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their aid in the investigation.

“Embezzlement is a serious crime that involves an abuse of trust,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The large dollar amount of this theft, as well as the extended period of time during which it occurred, are deserving of a state prison sentence. Employee embezzlement not only risks the livelihoods or business owners, but of other employees who took no part in stealing. I am thankful that my staff was able to reach a just result in this matter.”

District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Assistant District Attorney David Curtin for his handling of the prosecution of the case.

A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.