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Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $456K from Employer

Joanne Rocca could spend four years behind bars for taking money from real estate firm where she was a bookkeeper, DA said.

Joanne Rocca could spend four years behind bars for taking money from real estate firm where she was a bookkeeper, DA said. (Photo: NCDA)
Joanne Rocca could spend four years behind bars for taking money from real estate firm where she was a bookkeeper, DA said. (Photo: NCDA)

A Merrick woman could face four years in jail after pleading guilty to stealing more than $450,000 from her employer to pay for gas, groceries, cable, and home furnishings, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.

Joanne Rocca, 68, of Merrick, pleaded guilty in court Thursday to second-degree grand larceny. Prosecutors suggested a sentence of between 16 months to four years for the crime in addition to a restitution of $164,432.88, said the DA’s office. Rocca has already made restitution of $292,000.

Rocca was charged with embezzling $456,000 from a Plainview real estate firm where she worked as a bookkeeper, said the DA. Between 2004 and 2011, Rocca reportedly stole the cash by arranging automatic payments from the company’s accounts to pay her own bills. The DA said she forged the company owner’s signature on company checks and used the money to pay for cable television, gas, groceries, utility bills, and to pay for home furnishings, the DA reported.

In May 2011, while Rocca was on her lunch break, her boss discovered a company check made out to her American Express account on her desk, said the DA. At first, Rocca denied the accusation, but an internal review of company finances revealed the embezzlement. She was charged May 8.

"Employees that steal this much money damage the trust placed by employers in their employees and put the fiscal health of companies and the jobs of fellow employees at risk," said DA Kathleen Rice.

Rocca is scheduled to be sentenced June 6.

BigEye February 06, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Lock up the boss also.
Dons Wife February 06, 2014 at 03:51 PM
Hmmm---Unbelievable! 16-48 mths for grand larceny and embezzlement from 2004-2011- Just sayin!
That RVC guy February 06, 2014 at 04:41 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and surmise that she didn't spend any of the proceeds..on cosmetic surgery.
fred February 06, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Her problem is she is a bookkeeper and stole $450,000. She needs to be a banker and steal billions to get away scot free!
Dons Wife February 06, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Hey Fred -not bankers get away with it but are you condoning the greedy banker's behavior?
Dons Wife February 06, 2014 at 06:01 PM
All bankers....
Christopher Wendt February 06, 2014 at 07:13 PM
Newsday indicates she is expecting to be sentenced to probation for having taken personal responsibility for her actions and agreeing to make restitution, which she has already started to do. Sounds like DA Rice forgot that she had made a plea deal in this case.
fred February 07, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Don-my point is we are good at catching the nickel and dime thief's but not so good at the big money crooks. As for bankers they are no more greedy than lawyers, teachers, policeman etc..
B. A. B. February 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM
fred - you'd be singing a different tune if you were in need of either a policeman or a lawyer
Dons Wife February 07, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Fred-really a teacher----a classroom teacher? You really want to go there. The teacher's who are doing their best and never get the respect they deserve. Where does greed fall into that profession? Explain???
Ivan Ivanovich February 07, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Police and represent yourselves, cause who u pay to do it , do it for pay, and are inherently corrupt
LS February 07, 2014 at 02:23 PM
Like the old saying goes (from the movie title) "Never steal anything small." Stealing nearly half a million from her employer--through forgery--in a crime that lasted seven years, and she might end up with probation?
fred February 07, 2014 at 02:55 PM
Dons Wife you miss my point. I am not singling out teachers. I do not believe a persons profession determines if they are greedy or not , rather I believe one's character makes that determination!
LB TAXPAYA February 08, 2014 at 10:44 AM
She did it for D Family!!!!!
TJ Eckleburg February 08, 2014 at 08:08 PM
Every time Fred posts, his foot goes further and further into his mouth.
fred February 09, 2014 at 08:01 AM
TJ you don't bring too much to the table. You got anything else other then trying to put someone down? Take your time and try to think of something intelligent and tell me where you think I am wrong!
Trish Appello March 04, 2014 at 09:45 AM
This woman also owns the Merrick Theater for the Arts (f/K/A The Stage) @Children's Theater in Merrick..and even after she was charged she was upfront and taking my cash for tuition and tickets..all the kids in the programs would talk about how Joanne was going to jail..note to Joanne Rocco next time you are charged with Embezzlement and you work with children..have the decency to not be so visible..kids go to your Theater to flourish, not be subjected to criminals with a la-de-da attitude..just all sorts of wrong and extremely bad judgement on this woman's part

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