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July 19, 2016

N.Y. Charity Chief Accused of Stealing Hundreds of Thousands

The former executive director of a nonprofit serving people with autism and other disabilities in New York City and Long Island has been indicted on charges of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization, Newsday reports. Authorities allege Wafa Abboud, 48, used money from Human First to pay off credit-card bills and buy and renovate a $1.5 million home in Merrick, N.Y.

Ms. Abboud, the nonprofit’s leader since 2010, was fired in late May following an internal investigation. She was charged with conspiracy, embezzlement, and bank fraud along with two co-defendants who ran businesses that prosecutors say kicked back payments from Human First to Ms. Abboud. The nonprofit, founded in 2001, has 400 employees and a $21 million budget to provide state- and federally funded services to individuals with special needs and their families.