East Meadow church treasurer accused of stealing more than $35,000

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

EAST MEADOW (WABC) -- A Long Island church treasurer is under arrest and facing charges after authorities say he stole cash.

Police say 38-year-old Ronald Ousman, of Bayside, surrendered to the Nassau County District Attorney's Office at 7 a.m.

Ousman, the treasurer at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow is accused of stealing $35,600.

He was arraigned on a charge of third-degree grand larceny and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on September 15.

If convicted, Ousman faces a maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison.

"The defendant was a trusted member of the faith community, but is charged with taking advantage of that trust by stealing more than $35,000 from a house of worship," Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said. "I thank church officials for bringing this alleged theft to our attention and encourage members of the public to reach out to my office if they suspect a crime has taken place."

Singas said that between May 16, 2014 and May 7, 2015, Ousman, while serving as acting church treasurer, embezzled $35,608. He allegedly made a series of cash withdrawals from the church's checking and money market accounts.

The investigation began when church officials contacted the Internal Revenue Service to verify certain tax information. IRS employees informed church officials that certain payments were never received by the IRS. An investigation was opened by the DA's office in May.