Former Exec Director Stole Money from Bronx Youth Group

Pled Guilty to Syphoning Thousands from Program for Middle School Children

BRONX- The former executive of a Bronx youth group will serve 1 year in prison for stealing tens of thousands of dollars of federal funds ear marked to help middle-school children.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that Earnestine Russell, a former, longtime director of a Bronx youth group, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to Grand Larceny.

Clark said, “The defendant stole money that was meant to support after-school programs for middle school children in our Bronx community. The defendant, who led the Baychester Youth Council since the 1980s, has now been held accountable for her actions.”

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said, “Earnestine Russell took public money intended to give children a safe and nurturing place to go after school, but spent it on personal trips and electronic equipment for herself. I thank Bronx County District Attorney Clark for working with us to hold Ms. Russell accountable.”

Clark said that Russell, 69, pleaded guilty to third-degree Grand Larceny and was sentenced by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary to one year in jail with a $61,098.00 order of restitution by civil judgment. The defendant also waived her right to appeal.

According to the investigation by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the State Comptroller’s Office, Russell stole money from a federally funded grant administered by the New York State Education Department between December 19, 2009 and July 7, 2011.

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