FLUSHING—The beleaguered former administrator of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Estelle Cooper, has been charged with swiping more than $50,000 in funds from Unisphere—the nonprofit conservancy group that funds activities at the park, authorities said.
Cooper, 82, of Whitestone, was charged with two counts of grand larceny and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted, authorities said.
According to the District Attorney's office, the alleged swindle first came to light last November when an internal audit at Unisphere revealed missing funds.
It's not clear how Cooper obtained access to the funds, but she systematically pilfered more than $50,000 dollars during a five-year period starting in 2007, authorities said.
The suspect, who was released without bail after her arraignment Tuesday, resigned as executive director of Unisphere in December 2011.
She also stepped down from her other posts as administrator of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and assistant commissioner with the city’s Parks Department.
Cooper's lawyer could not be reached for comment.