Church Bookkeeper Accused of Stealing More Than $1M

Anita Collins siphoned money from Archdiocese of New York: cops
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2012 5:44 PM CST

(Newser) – New York police arrested a Bronx woman today for embezzling more than $1 million from the Archdiocese of New York, the New York Daily News reports. Prosecutors say the plain-looking Anita Collins, 67, spent lavishly at Bloomingdale's, Barney's, and Brooks Brothers during her nine-year stint at the archdiocese. She finally confessed when confronted at work last month about a missing $10,000. But she "continued to lie" about the other $1,063,000 she had taken, said Assistant DA Amy Justiniano.

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"She held herself out to be a religious woman going to church every day,” Justiniano said. “Yet, behind their backs she would lie and steal.” Lucky for Collins—who had twice pleaded guilty in larceny cases and served probation—she was hired before the archdiocese began doing employee background checks in 2003. Then she allegedly siphoned out the money by writing duplicate checks in small amounts and cashing them with phony names. She entered no plea today and was held on $750,000 bail. (Read more Archdiocese of New York stories.)

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