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Posted on: September 30, 2022

Former Pharmaceutical Company Employee Pleads Guilty in $1.38M Embezzlement & Tax Fraud Scheme

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Former office manager Maria Porras used bookkeeping access to steal money between 2015 and 2020

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that the former office manager for a pharmaceutical company in Port Washington pleaded guilty today to stealing more than $1.38 million from three affiliated businesses over a span of five years.

Maria Porras, 32, pleaded guilty today before Judge Tammy Robbins to three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony), four counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree (a D felony) and four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing (an E felony). The defendant has agreed to pay $100,000 in upfront restitution prior to her sentencing on January 9, 2023, and she will be ordered to pay the remainder after her sentence. NCDA recommended a prison sentence of 2-1/2 years to 6-1/2 years with significant upfront restitution or a sentence of 3-1/2 years to 10-1/2 years without significant upfront restitution. 

“Over five years this defendant swindled three pharmaceutical companies out of more than a million dollars, abusing her authority and access to write unauthorized checks from company accounts and divert incoming checks into her personal bank accounts. The defendant also filed false tax returns with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance that concealed the proceeds of her theft,” said DA Donnelly. “Maria Porras’ greed caught up with her and she is being held accountable with this felony conviction. I thank my Financial Crimes Bureau for their diligent investigation of this case and for ultimately uncovering this massive embezzlement scheme.”

DA Donnelly said that, according to the indictment, from 2015 to 2019, the defendant was employed as an office manager for RXUSA, a pharmaceutical company in Port Washington. As part of her duties, Porras had access to RXUSA’s bookkeeping system, which enabled her to generate checks written from RXUSA’s account and from the accounts of two other affiliated companies, Eveready Wholesale Drugs, Inc., and PBM America Inc. The owner of the companies, Robert Drucker, died in March 2017 and the companies closed in December 2019. 

On November 11, 2020, the defendant was arrested by the Port Washington Police Department after it was discovered that she deposited checks from RXUSA written out to the company’s vendors and diverted incoming checks into her personal account. Upon further investigation by NCDA, it was revealed that the defendant had embezzled $1,384,487.71 from the three companies between 2015 and 2020. 

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance also initiated an investigation, which revealed that the defendant failed to report the income Porras had stolen on her personal tax returns and failed to pay the full taxes she owed from 2016 to 2019. 

NCDA thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their partnership and assistance in this investigation.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Erica Zimmerman of the Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting this case. Scott Gross, Esq. represents the defendant.   


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