A Bay Shore couple was convicted Tuesday of stealing $580,000 in taxpayer money from a New York City-based nonprofit that operated senior centers and using the money to pay for personal expenses.
A Manhattan federal jury found Kwame Insaidoo, the 60-year-old former executive director of United Block Association (UBA), and his wife, Roxanna Insaidoo, 63, guilty of embezzlement from a federally funded program, conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
“The defendants’ brazen theft deprived some of the city’s neediest residents of public money for healthy meals and senior citizen programs,” said Joon Kim, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Prosecutors said Kwame embezzled some of the $8.7 million in federal, state and local funds to provide healthy meals and programming at four senior centers in Manhattan from July 2008 through March 2015.
He and his wife were both signatories on a UBA bank account, which they used to write hundreds of checks to themselves, their son and a fake charity that they used to launder some of the money, authorities said. They used the money to pay their phone bills, utilities, wire $300,000 abroad as well as buy a Mercedes Benz and a Cadillac, according to investigators.
To cover up the theft, Kwame lied to the city Department for the Aging in an effort to evade scrutiny for the unauthorized payments and to maintain UBA’s funding, prosecutors said.
In addition, the couple was convicted of engaging in a scheme to defraud their mortgage lender by under-reporting their income and assets when they modified their mortgage under the federally sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program. They wrote off nearly $200,000 as a part of the scam.
They face 20 years in prison when they are sentenced Aug. 11 by Judge Valerie Caproni.