2006-10-13 / Community

Local Pleads Guilty To Bilking Boys And Girls Club

Used Money For Beachfront Condo, Renovations
By Howard Schwach

A Rockaway man pled guilty in State Supreme Court to felony charges of grand larceny and forgery, as part of what the city's Department of Investigations says was a "widespread pattern of fraud" at the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. More than $20,000 of that money, investigators say, went to furnish and refurbish an oceanfront condominium apartment on Beach 120 Street in Rockaway Park.

Charles Rosen, 63, whose Rockaway apartment is at 133 Beach 120 Street, pled guilty to the felony charges and to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of government administration as part of a plea deal that will fine Rosen $5,000 and force him to make restitution of $38,575, a fraction of the more than $69,000 the city says he stole from the charity.

Of the $69,000 Rosen stole or illegally obtained from 2001 to 2004, investigators say, $14,000 was used to buy a new Volvo automobile and $21,000 was used for "home furnishings and renovation of a waterfront apartment in the Rockaways."

The DOI report says, "Rosen disguised the payments as Gloria Wise's expenses and stole $3,200 of the amount directly from DYCD [Department of Youth and Community Development] by falsely claiming that the contractor was conducting a gang prevention workshop."

The money went to such diverse businesses as Home Depot (for bathroom fixtures), a floor stripping business and a wall unit vendor as well as to U-Haul and to contractor Gino Boccia, who also did work for the charity at its Bronx facilities.

Gloria Wise's payment For Rosen's renovations, the DOI report said, also include a $3,200 check to Boccia dated June 28, 2002. That payment was billed to DYCD supported by a phony "consulting agreement" signed by Rosen and bearing Boccia's purported signature stating that Boccia was conducting a gang prevention workshop in Rockaway. Boccia told investigators that he never saw or signed the agreement and that he never agreed to run a gang prevention workshop.

In addition to the money the DOI says that Rosen and three others took from the charity, Rosen's salary grew from $109,477 in wages and bonuses in 2000 to $249,611 in 2004.

Rosen and his three codefendants were also charged with giving hundreds of thousand of dollars belonging to the charity to Radio Free America, a start-up radio stations that has been described as "liberal" in published reports.

Neither Rosen nor his attorney, Frederick H. Cohn, were available to The Wave for comment on this story.

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