Anita Collins, a former clerk for the Archdiocese of New York was arrested yesterday on charges of embezzling more than $1 million from the church's education fund.
Collins, 67, wrote more than 450 checks to her son, but later changed the church's logs to show that they went to legitimate church expenses. Because the checks never went above $2,500, she did not have to seek approval from her supervisor for her purchases.
Through the money, Collins acquired an extensive doll collection, $23,000 worth of clothes from Barney's and Brooks Brothers, a $19,000 worth of items from an Irish gift shop--while working on a $35,000-to-$50,000-a-year job at the archdiocese, according to The Associated Press.
Archdiocese workers noticed the theft in December and quickly fired Collins from her post before turning the case over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Collins was arraigned Monday on charges of grand larceny.
Collins has a previous history of theft, which the church did not know of when hiring her. In 1999, she was convicted of stealing more than $50,000 from a temporary staffing agency where she worked. In 1986 she was convicted on a misdemeanor for stealing from another employer.
In both cases, Collins got probation, which she was still under when she started work at the archdiocese in 2003.