Former bookkeeper pleads guilty to stealing over $162k from employer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former bookkeeper pleaded guilty to stealing more than $162 thousand from her employer over the course of four years, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Carrie Zielinski, 47, of Depew pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny in the second degree on Thursday.

Between January 2019 and May 2023, Zielinski, officials said, stole $162,269.37 from a medical office in Williamsville. Officials said Zielinski was employed at the office as an office manager and accountant.

Zielinski, according to authorities, committed the theft by stealing cash from co-pays paid by patients. The theft was uncovered after another employee noticed a discrepancy in the documented co-pays compared to the deposited cash and Zielinski was fired from her position, officials said.

Zielinski is scheduled to return to court on May 21. If convicted of the highest charge, she faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and was released on her own recognizance.

As part of the guilty plea, she is ordered to pay full restitution to the victim and two insurance companies.

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Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

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