AS A Human Resources Administration employee, Eliana Bauta, above, had access to large amounts of money intended for needy New Yorkers.
But she abused her position to steal more that $300,ooo, some of which was used to pay for a “supernatural curse” to be placed on her ex-boyfriend.
According to this report, Bauta, 36, admitted the theft, and has begun a two-year jail sentence. Her crime was committed in cahoots with two other HRA employees who stole emergency funds from the agency and doled them out to friends and relatives.
In one instance, she submitted paperwork to obtain funds for someone whom she said was a victim of a disaster – one that never actually occurred – but she used the money instead to pay for witchcraft.
In another, she took a police report submitted on behalf of an actual HRA benefits recipient and doctored it so that funds would go to a relative.
Bauta and the two employees –Geraldine Perez and Eric Gonzales – also ran a scheme in which they took cheques intended for benefit recipients and deposited them into their own accounts, officials said.
Bauta worked for HRA as a job opportunity specialist from 2008 to 2018, and the theft came to light following a probe launched in 2015 by the city’s Department of Investigation into reports from HRA about suspicious activity in the agency’s benefits system.
Perez was previously sentenced to nine months in prison for her role in the schemes and Gonzales got two years’ probation.
Hat tip: Antony Niall