EAST HILLS, NY -- After a six-month investigation, a Nassau County (NY) district attorney alleges that a 22-year-old former receptionist at the Sid Jacobsen Jewish Community Center in East Hills, NY, stole the credit card information of 18 JCC members and racked up more than $15,000 in bills from high-end department stores over the course of three months. If convicted, Elizabeth Young faces a maximum of seven years in prison.
In late August, a grand jury returned a 20-count indictment of Young. The charges claim that between Sept. 15 and Nov. 30, 2006, Young stole the name, credit card number and other personal information from the charge slips of JCC members and others using the facilities who made payments for memberships and classes at the JCC.
Young then used that information for herself or sold it to acquaintances, according to the Nassau County district attorneyâ€™s office. Young and others allegedly used the identity and credit card information to order high-priced items from Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, racking up charges between $15,000 and $20,000 in less than three months.
â€śWhen the JCC members received their monthly statements, they saw the charges sandwiched in between legitimate charges they recognized,â€ť a statement on the district attorneyâ€™s Web site reads. â€śAll of the charges were eventually reversed, and the losses were incurred by Neiman Marcus (which owns Bergdorf Goodman) and Saks.â€ť
Susan Bender, executive director of the Sid Jacobsen JCC, told Newsday that Young passed a background check before she was hired as an evening receptionist.
Last December, Young was arrested and charged with five counts of larceny, identity theft and scheming to defraud.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice told all JCC members to check their credit card statements and report any discrepancies.
A second defendant, who purchased three stolen credit card numbers from Young and used them to make purchases, also was arrested last December. In April, Brigitte Thompson pleaded guilty to identity theft and scheme to defraud.
Young was charged with third-degree grand larceny, two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud, three counts of first-degree identity theft, five counts of second-degree identity theft, eight counts of first-degree falsifying business records and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification information.