MINEOLA, N.Y. (WABC) -- A Long Island financial planner was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 10 years in prison Wednesday for stealing money meant for a camp for people with special needs.
Drew Morgan, 44, of Rockville Centre, pleaded guilty in March to grand larceny for embezzling nearly $1.3 million from two nonprofits that raise money for special needs children and $475,000 from two financial customers.
"I am sorry for my actions," he said before court. "I made mistakes, and I'm here to take responsibility for it today. And I'm looking forward to setting everything straight, and hopefully, what's done here today will start the healing process for everyone involved."
From February 2008 through January 2013, Morgan embezzled $1,159,953 from the Anchor Building Fund while acting as its treasurer and a board member. The fund was maintained by the not-for-profit corporation that runs Camp A.N.C.H.O.R. Recreation to help children and adults with special needs.
Morgan also stole an additional $130,558 between June 2010 and December 2012 from the Corporation for Socially and Exceptionally Challenged Kids, a non-profit corporation that also raises money for Camp A.N.C.H.O.R.
Morgan's own daughter, who has Down syndrome, attended the camp.
"It takes a special kind of heartless defendant to commit these egregious crimes against these defenseless people," acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said. "This defendant deserves...to pay fully for the crimes that he committed."
She pushed for the judge to use his discretion to sentence Morgan to the maximum of 4 to 12 years.
What is worse is that five years ago, three counselors from Camp A.C.H.O.R. were killed in a car accident. The community came together to raise more than $400,000 after the tragedy, money that Morgan spent on himself. He used the stolen money to pay for a membership in the Hempstead Golf Club, airline travel and hotel stays, restaurants, credit and debit card purchases, appliances, home furnishings and personal expenses such as groceries and gasoline.
The parents of Michael Mulhall, who died in the crash, were in court to make sure Morgan got what he deserved.
"It's heartbreaking to think what he has done, and you have seen some of these people here today," dad Neil Mulhall said. "I don't know how anyone in good conscious can do that."
"Our hearts have been broken since July 15, 2010," mom Peggy Mulhall said. "So this has been just another wound that keeps opening."
Morgan also stole $475,000 from two sisters, age 69 and 70, for whom he was working as a financial planner. Those thefts occurred between 2008 and 2010. He was arrested in 2013.
Rockville Centre financial planner gets up to 10 years for taking money from special needs camp