William Weingarten, former treasurer for the Carle Place Fire Department, was arrested today for allegedly stealing more than $60,000 from the department over the course of four years.
According to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, between Jan. 1, 2014 and Sept. 24, 2017, Weingarten used the department’s credit card to make $61,589.37 in unauthorized purchases. Most of the purchases consisted of Apple iTunes purchases, as well as went towards NASCAR memberships, automobile parts, gasoline, electronics and meals at restaurants.
Weingarten, 65, was arraigned on Oct. 26 before Judge William Hohauser on charges of second-degree grand larceny, two counts of second-degree forgery, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, two counts of first-degree falsifying business records, two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and official misconduct.
Weingarten’s lawyer, Peter Rubin, said his client plead not guilty in court and had no further comment about the arrest. Weingarten is due back in court Nov. 16 and if convicted of the top count, faces up to 15 years in prison.
“These funds…were intended for vital fire department services but instead were allegedly pilfered by this defendant and used for frivolous purchases like iTunes and NASCAR,” Singas said. “Stealing from volunteer fire companies, which do critical life-saving work to protect our communities, is an especially outrageous crime, and we will vigorously prosecute this case.”
Before resigning as treasurer, Weingarten served 22 years with the department. As treasurer, his duties were to maintain the books, issue checks and make deposits for the department.
The fire department’s board referred this case to the NCDA on Sept. 21, 2017, based upon its review of an external audit of the department’s finances.