Suffolk police say goodwill employees stole more than 43 grams from a non-profit
Suffolk Police said Wednesday that two Goodwill Industries executives stole more than $43,000 from the nonprofit over a period of more than 10 months.
The women — Ilana Sophia, 29, of Port Jefferson, and Sandra Bonilla, 33, of Brentwood — worked at the Goodwill outpost in Jericho Turnpike in East Northport. $43,330 was stolen from bank deposits between November 4, 2020 and August 17 this year, according to shipping documents.
Both women are charged with third-degree grand theft.
Prosecutors said Sophia was summoned on Tuesday and released on a pledge of her own.
Authorities said Bonilla was summoned on Wednesday and released on her personal pledge.
George Duncan, the defense attorney representing Sophia, said his client is “completely innocent. She’s looking forward to trial. She’s been wrongfully accused.”
“Our position is one; she is innocent,” said Andrew Karpf, a defense attorney representing Bonilla.
Karpf said he will require prosecutors to provide surveillance video from the banks where the defendant says they deposited the money.
“There is an allegation that my client and defendant never made it to the banks, and our position is that not only did she make it to the banks, she made the deposits when she was supposed to, and didn’t take a dollar out of goodwill, let alone the more than 43,000 they were claiming.”
Sofia is scheduled to return to court on October 28 and Bonilla will appear again on October 27.
Goodwill’s stated mission is to tackle the poverty and unemployment affecting “people with disabilities and other challenges in finding jobs.”
“Goodwill NYNJ thanks the authorities for conducting a proper investigation into this isolated incident against a respected 106-year-old charity. We are disappointed by this unfortunate problem at one of our stores, but are assured that it will not stop our work at the nonprofit organization, Jose said. Medellin, in an email Thursday, broke down employment barriers for individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages.