A manager of a residential facility in St. James has been charged with stealing $30,000 from adults with developmental disabilities, Suffolk County prosecutors said Friday.
Desiree Etheridge of North Carolina has been charged with six counts of grand larceny in the third degree, Suffolk prosecutors said in a news release. Etheridge is also accused of defrauding.
Etheridge was placed on probation and surrendered her passport after being arraigned before Judge Richard Horowitz on Friday.
Between November 2018 and June 2021, prosecutors said Etheridge, 48, who worked as a residential manager, stole funds from the ATM cards of six residents while working for Eden II. In his position, Etheridge had access to those residents’ bank accounts and debit cards.
Etheridge was responsible for withdrawing cash to be placed in each resident’s petty cash envelope so he could make outings to local restaurants and shops, prosecutors said. When the coronavirus pandemic hit and no exits were available for residents, Etheridge depleted their bank accounts, traveled to North Carolina and used his ATM cards there.
“This defendant allegedly took advantage of individuals who trusted her and instead of honoring that trust, she stole thousands of dollars from them for her personal use,” District Attorney Ray Tierney said in a statement.
In June, Etheridge was indicted by a county grand jury and issued a warrant, prosecutors said. Etheridge is due back in court on October 3.
Etheridge’s attorney, Christopher Brocato of Central Islip, could not immediately be reached for comment.
“Instead of safeguarding the best interests of the residents she was responsible for looking after, Desiree Etheridge would have lined her own pockets by stealing from these vulnerable adults,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said in a statement. communicated.