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Accomplice Stole $80K from Chelsea's Penn South Complex, Officials Say

By Mathew Katz | March 29, 2013 8:30am

CHELSEA — A former Penn South payroll manager charged with stealing nearly $190,000 from the co-op had an accomplice who is accused of funneling nearly $80,000 to his own bank account, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

Alvin Morgan, 30, was arrested on Feb. 7, a week before payroll manager Eric Greenfield was picked up by 10th Precinct cops for the alleged embezzlement.

Both men were charged with grand larceny. Morgan is accused of skimming "over $79,000" and Greenfield is suspected of stealing $187,428, according to court records.

Both Morgan and Greenfield worked in the payroll department at Penn South, also known as the Mutual Redevelopment Houses, and stole at least $266,428 in total, according to criminal complaints.

Penn South, a 10-building, 2,820-unit complex, provides low- and middle-income housing in Chelsea.

After DNAinfo.com New York broke the news of Greenfield's embezzlement arrest, Penn South sent a memo to residents, disclosing that about a quarter-million dollars had been stolen over more than four years.

The memo stated that the alleged scheme began in 2008 and lasted until 2012, after Greenfield left his role as payroll manager and assistant to the CFO in late 2011.

"While the total sum of money taken was large...this did not stand out in our annual payroll of $6 million," the March 13 memo stated.

"However, the theft was discovered in-house by our accounting department."

According to a criminal complaint against Morgan, the former Penn South staffer made several "excessive" payments from the co-op's checking account to himself.

"I had access to payroll and I took money," Morgan told 10th Precinct detectives, according to the complaint.

It was not immediately clear what Morgan's position was at Penn South, or whether he lived in the complex.

The co-op's manager, Brendan Keany, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Morgan's attorney, Mitchell Schuman, declined to comment.

According to the memo, "the majority" of the stolen cash would be covered by insurance, and the co-op's payrolls underwent an intense audit going back seven years, which found no other problems.

The complex is working with the payroll firm ADP to prevent similar theft from happening again, the memo added.