Monday, May 7, 2007

Cemetery treasurer arraigned on charges she stole $75K

By KELLY CAMPBELL

Darcy Jost, the woman who allegedly embezzled more than $75,00 from the Genola Rural Cemetery over a four-year period while serving as secretary, was arraigned in Courtroom D-11 in First District Court in Central Islip Tuesday.

After surrendering herself and records relating to the case to Suffolk County Police early Tuesday morning and being charged with felony grand larceny, Ms. Jost was taken to the courthouse.


As her turn in front of Judge John Iliou approached she was led out to the wooden bench inside the defendants holding area in street clothes but handcuffed behind her back.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. her case was called and Ms. Jost appeared without an attorney or any other ‘support.’ Judge Iliou advised that she had a right to an attorney throughout all stages of the process. Since she did not have one present, the Judge said she could choose to either go forward for the purpose of an arraignment or she had the right to a brief adjournment until she could find one.
“Are you saying I don’t need a lawyer for the arraignment?” Ms. Jost asked Judge Iliou. “Because I don’t have one on retainer.”
“I didn’t say that,” he told her. “Based on income guidelines, you don’t qualify for Legal Aid. So you can be held without bail or we can go forward. Do you wish to proceed?”
She said that she did.
Judge Iliou read the charges, stating that on or about November 20, 2001 and until November 25, 2005, Ms. Jost did violate Section 155.40 of New York State Law, committing a theft of $75,959. According to the penal law, a person is guilty of grand larceny in the second degree when he or she steals property with a value exceeding $50,000.
Because she did not have a lawyer present, Judge Iliou issued a denial on Ms. Jost’s behalf. The hearing was adjourned until May 15 in Courtroom D-35 and she was released on her recognizance.
Judge Ilious said in her pre-arraignment interview she was deemed a “non-flight risk.”
Genola President Raymond Teiner, Sr. said that he was surprised when he was informed by the cemetery’s alwyer Mark Kleczka that Ms. Jost had been arrested.
“I was really shocked because the investigation has been going on for 14 months and then, boom, they get her,” he said. “I had been calling them repeatedly. It got to the point where I was being a paint in the butt. But all of a sudden I got a call from Mark saying, ‘Darcy’s been arrested.’”
Mr. Teiner said that he isn’t sure if he will go to court May 15. “This is an ongoing investigation and it looks like its coming to a head. I will go to court if Mark tells me I should so I won’t comment further than that.”
Genola caretaker Randy Jones said that he feels bad for the families affected by the alleged theft. “People choose Genola to place their loved ones for burial,” he said. “You want to be able to give them the best service you can.”

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