A Florida woman was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing more than $150,000 from a Wading River charity youth hockey charity, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.
Investigators said Tina Ruggiero, 55, formerly of Roslyn, was hired to organize a 2015 golf fundraiser for the Peconic Hockey Foundation, but ended up pocketing the bulk of the proceeds from the event. She allegedly spent the money on cars, restaurants, nail salons, hotels, movie theaters and other personal expenses.
“More than $152,000 was raised for youth activities and my office will use every tool at our disposal to make sure that money is repaid,”Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
Ms. Ruggiero, who now lives in Jupiter, Fla., was charged with second-degree grand larceny, a felony. She is due back in court July 9 and faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
The golf event netted $208,000 in proceeds with Ms. Ruggiero contracted to collect a $15,000 salary, according to the DA’s office. A total of $55,000 went toward expenses.
The agreement called for Ms. Ruggiero to hold the money in a bank account for a nonprofit she was involved with until the hockey organization received its own nonprofit approval. However, she never transferred the money, the DA’s office said.
The funds were raised to support youth activities related to hockey and ice skating, and for the potential development of a hockey rink in Suffolk County, according to a press release.