Kings County District Attorney's Office
Dennis Bassat, former chief operating officer of 820 River Street, a drug and alcohol rehab nonprofit in Troy, N.Y., has been arrested and charged with embezzling at least $200,000 over a four-year period.
The indictment charges Bassat, 53, of Middle Grove, with grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and falsifying business records.
As COO, according to the state Attorney General’s Office, Bassat had the authority to sign company checks. The indictment charges that Bassat and an unnamed accomplice engaged in a scheme in which Bassat wrote numerous checks from the company’s checking account to fictitious persons.
As part of the scheme, the indictment continues, Bassat signed timesheets for the imaginary person, who was supposed to have performed repair and maintenance work, as well as mileage log sheets.
After drafting one of the fraudulent checks, the AG’s Office said, Bassat or the accomplice signed the fictitious person’s name on the back of the check, co-endorsed it, then deposited it into one of their bank accounts.
“Stealing from a nonprofit that provides services to people with drug and alcohol addiction, including those who are homeless, demonstrates a willingness to place one’s greed far above the needs of the community. This scheme is simply reprehensible,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
The charges against Bassat are the result of an ongoing investigation in which the FBI and the New York State Commission on Quality of Care for Persons With Disabilities are also taking part.
“The Commission on Quality of Care works to ensure the integrity of public resources that are used to serve individuals with disabilities,” said Roger Bearden, chair of the commission.