FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 22, 2017
Bookkeeper Indicted For Stealing Approximately $316,000
From Sheepshead Bay Produce Market
Allegedly Used Funds to Pay off His Credit Cards,
Purchase Electronics, Furniture, Airline Tickets and Clothing
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced a 14-count indictment charging a former bookkeeper with stealing approximately $316,000 from a popular family-owned fruit and vegetable market in Sheepshead Bay by misdirecting funds from the company’s bank account to pay his credit card bills. He is also charged with stealing $17,000 in rental property income from one of the market owners.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant was a trusted employee who was the only person aside from the owners to have access to these bank accounts. He allegedly breached that trust to indulge in hundreds of thousands of dollars of fancy electronics, airline tickets and other items and we will now seek to hold him accountable.”
The Acting District Attorney said that the defendant, Ibrahim Elgreatly, 36, of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of second-degree grand larceny, two counts of third-degree grand larceny and 11 counts of first-degree falsifying business records. He was ordered held on bail of $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash and to return to court on February 28, 2018.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, Produce Market 2000, a fruit and vegetable market located at 2518 Avenue U, hired the defendant as a customer service representative in August 2014. In July 2015, he was promoted to bookkeeper. He was given the password to the QuickBooks accounting software used by the market and to the company’s bank accounts and credit card accounts at New York Community Bank.
The defendant’s duties, as bookkeeper, included verifying and entering the bills, making payments to vendors, paying Produce Market’s rent and utilities, verifying and posting transactions on the bank accounts, and depositing cash on a daily basis, among other things.
It is alleged that between November 21, 2015 and December 31, 2016, the defendant stole more than $304,600 from Produce Market in two ways. First, he allegedly made it appear that he was paying Best Buy, one of Produce Market’s vendors, but he allegedly misdirected funds by making checks payable to his personal Citibank Visa-Best Buy credit card to pay off personal credit card debt. He allegedly did this by making false entries into Produce Market’s QuickBooks software to make it appear as though he was paying vendor Best Buy’s invoices, then minutes later, he deleted them from QuickBooks and made new checks payable to his Citibank Visa-Best Buy account.
Additionally, according to the indictment, the defendant allegedly used Produce Market’s business credit cards to buy products that were solely for his benefit, such as laser printers, an ID Maker, Bose headphones, Apple TVs, Michael Kors clothing, airplane tickets, Ikea furniture and other items, which were shipped to his home.
The indictment also charges that the defendant was responsible for collecting cash rental payments from two properties owned by one of the principals and depositing them into the owner’s bank account. From July 2015 to January 2017, he allegedly stole approximately $17,000 of the rental monies by collecting it and failing to deposit it into the principal’s bank account.
The case was investigated by Chief Financial Analyst Arthur Criscione of the District Attorney’s Health Care Bureau and Frauds Bureau, and Detective Investigator Liz Montesclaros of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Investigator Michael Seminara.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Samantha Magnani, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt