By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The former head of a pair of well-known pro-choice advocacy groups pleaded guilty to abusing expense accounts, making at least $75,000 in fraudulent charges during her tenure.
Kelli Conlin, 53, admitted to using expense funds at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, which share an office at 470 Park Avenue South, to pay for a summer rental in the Hamptons, child care, and other expenses that were not approved business-related costs.
She will not serve jail time if she pays $75,000 in restitution by July 22.
Appearing for the first time in Manhattan Supreme Court, the former women's health advocate admitted to misusing the funds from the organizations, for which she worked from 1992 to 2010. At that point, she was investigated and let go.
"Kelli Conlin was a leader in the pro-choice movement and a powerful advocate for women, but she treated the organizations' funds as her own, betraying the trust of the donors she solicited," Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.
Conlin pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying business records, the lowest-level felony. The crimes occurred between 2007 and 2010.
"NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health cooperated fully and completely with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in its investigation," said the groups in a statement. "We are pleased with this outcome and to have a final resolution in this case."