Former Charity Head of Nos Quedamos Pleads Guilty of Stealing Funds


Yolanda Gonzalez being escorted by police. Photo c/o Howard Simmons of The New York Daily News

Former head of a South Bronx charity has pleaded guilty on Thursday at the Bronx State Supreme Court to grand larceny and criminal tax fraud for stealing nearly $900,000 from the organization.

Yolanda Gonzalez, former executive director of We Stay/Nos Quedamos was arrested in October 2013 for stealing money from the charity organization. She was accused of withdrawing from the organization’s bank account to use the money on personal expenses like buying jewelry, clothes, a new car, and going to the nail salon.

According to State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office, Ms. Gonzalez supplemented her annual salary of over $70,000 by writing checks to herself, withdrawing money from the organization’s account, or using the organization’s credit cards for personal expenses. She had also put several relatives on payroll.

Nos Quedamos is a nonprofit housing and social services group that describes itself as a, “community development corporation comprised of residents, homeowners, and business owners from the South Bronx who are committed to promoting, supporting, and advancing ideas of healthy and sustainable growth, both for local communities and the larger society.” The organization was originally founded by Yolanda Garcia, Gonzalez’ mother, in 1992 to help Melrose residents from being pushed out by redevelopment.

Board members from Nos Quedamos removed Gonzalez after questions of financial irregularities began. The case was started after board members alerted Attorney General Schneiderman’s office about the suspicious activity.

Joseph Ingenito, former chief financial officer of Nos Quedamos, also pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of falsifying business records to conceal the thefts.

Ingenito will be sentenced on February 6 to six months of house arrest and five years of probation. Gonzalez will be sentenced on January 13 and is facing up to 4 1/2 years in prison, the attorney general’s office said.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email