Qns. Man Charged In $100,000 Charity Scam

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

A Queens Village man working at a Home Depot in Long Island has been arrested and charged with using a scam to steal more than $100,000.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced on Nov. 9 that Alfred Williams, a Home Depot employee in Elmont, was charged with several felonies for using the company’s donation-matching program and a religious charity he controlled to steal more than $111,000 for personal use.

Williams, 57, was arrested on Nov. 7 by the Nassau County Police Department’s Crimes Against Property Squad, who worked in conjunction with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and Home Depot investigators. He was charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree attempted grand larceny, two counts of identity theft in the first degree and identity theft in the second degree. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.

According to the DA’s office, Williams had worked for Home Depot since 1991, though he only starting working at the store on 600 Hempstead Tpke. in Elmont in 2007. He is the president of a religious organization called Faith Without Walls International Ministries, registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2004, operating administratively out of Williams’ home.

Between 2009 and 2012, Williams reported to Home Depot Foundation’s 1:1 Gift Matching Program that more than 40 employees had given donations to Faith Without Walls. The Foundation received false information from the charity that the money had been received; causing it to then send its matching funds. This money was deposited for Williams’ personal use, said the DA’s press release.

Williams did not list himself as a contact for Faith Without Walls, getting around its prohibition of giving matching funds to charities run by employees.

The scam was first suspected in Dec. 2011 when a Home Depot employee tried to make a donation to another organization using the matching program. She was denied, being told she had reached the maximum donation amount for the year. She made a complaint to Home Depot, which launched an investigation.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Edward Bradley of DA Rice’s Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau. Williams is represented by Robert Schalk, Esq.

“Mr. Williams has never been in trouble a day in his life,” Schalk said. “He maintains his innocence in this case and we look forward to challenging the evidence of this prosecution in court.”

The Hon. Judge Alan Honorof set a $100,000 cash or bond bail for Williams, who is due back in court on Nov. 15.
“The victims of a crime like this are uncountable because it makes it hard for legitimate charities everywhere to raise much-needed funds for good purposes,” Rice said.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.