LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- Three people are now facing charges in a vicious acid attack in Queens last year that authorities say was part of a cover-up in connection with an embezzlement scheme.
A grand jury on Tuesday indicted 47-year-old Kim Williams, 41-year-old Pia Louallen and 32-year-old Jerry Mohammed and variously charged them with embezzling more than $750,000 from a non-profit organization where one of them worked and then attacking and seriously burning the organization's executive director with a caustic liquid substance in an effort to conceal the alleged theft.
"This case is troubling on so many different levels," District Attorney Richard Brown said. "In an atmosphere of such giving, it is disheartening to see an individual allegedly use her position of fiduciary trust to siphon off tens of thousands of dollars in funds for the personal use of herself and another. More disturbing, perhaps, is the same individual allegedly conspiring with another individual to intentionally seriously injure an innocent victim as part of a cover-up."
Williams, of the Bronx, formerly worked as an accountant at Hospital Audiences, Inc., also known as Healing Arts Initiative, located on Skillman Avenue in Long Island City. She was arrested Monday night in New Jersey by state troopers at a rest stop.
She is alleged to have stolen more than $600,000 from Hospital Audiences between 2012 and 2015 and provided Louallen, a close friend, with additional $150,000 of the illegal proceeds between 2013 and 2015.
Prosecutors say Williams then conspired with Mohammed to commit an assault in an effort to hide her theft, and that on August 19, 2015, Mohammed waited for the charity's executive director, Rev. D. Alexandra Dyer, to leave work that evening. As she approached her vehicle, Mohammed is accused of throwing an acid-like substance at her, causing severe burns to her face and other portions of the body.
Dyer was hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries as a result of the attack.
Williams is charged with assault, conspiracy, criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, identity theft and falsifying business records. Louallen is charged with grand larceny and conspiracy, and Mohammed is charged with assault, conspiracy and criminal possession of a weapon. Williams and Mohammed each face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, while Louallen faces a maximum of 15 years.
3 charged in Queens acid attack; allegedly part of embezzlement cover-up