Ex-Yonkers library worker arraigned on felony theft charges

A former Yonkers library worker  pleaded not guilty today to charges that she swindles the library system out of  $163,582 over seven years.

Margo Reed of Yonkers (left) was arraigned in Westchester County Court on one count of second-degree grand larceny, 14 counts of falsifying business records, two counts of filing a false instrument and one count of filng a false tax returns. All of the charges are felonies.

She remains free without bail and is due back in court on Nov. 16, although her lawyer, Lawrence Sykes, will meet with prosecutors to discuss her case on Aug. 24.

She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of second-degree grand larceny.

Reed worked in the library’s business office and was responsible for collecting overdue fines and other revenue from the three branches of the Yonkers Public Library System. She was also responsible for handing over the library’s revenue to the Yonkers Finance Department for deposit. County prosecutors say she stole the money between July 7, 2004 and Dec. 7, 2010 from One Larkin Center in Yonkers.

Police said she had a key to the library’s locked deposit bag and used it to pilfer cash. She also is accused of altering the library’s business records to hide the missing funds.

District Attorney Janet DiFiore said the stolen money could have been used to buy books, reading materials and computers for Yonkers libraries.

“In today’s economy, with limited resources and tight budgets, this kind of crime directly impacts children, students, the elderly and anyone who looks to the public library system as a place of knowledge and enjoyment,” she said in a written statement.

Yonkers’ 2009 salary records indicate that Reed made $43,323 in gross pay and worked for the city since 1985. She lives in a federally subsidized apartment building where residents’ rents are based on their income.She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2003. Virtually all her debt was credit-card related, court papers show. According to federal court records, Reed’s case was closed on April 13, 2004, and a judge released her from all her debts.

Staff writer Ernie Garcia contributed to this report.