NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Marisol Martell, 47, of Elmsford, NY was arraigned today on a 49-count felony complaint in New Rochelle City Court on charges related to her theft of money from the New Rochelle School District while working as a school secretary in the Athletic Department Office.
Talk of the Sound was first to report of an investigation into financial fraud in the New Rochelle Athletic Department in March 2017 (see related stories below). The arraignment comes just days after John Gallagher and Mauro Zonzini were sentenced for their role in a bribery and kickback scheme involving construction contracts. Last week six high schools announced they would not send a delegation to a Model Congress event in March due to concerns about recent violence involving New Rochelle High School students. On January 10th, a students was fatally stabbed in the heart allegedly by a fellow student as other students egged on the suspect. The following week, in an unrelated incident, a student who had been assaulted by a group of other students stabbed a classmate twice in the chest. The suspect in that case fled the high school. He remains at large on a felony warrant for his arrest. A few days later two students are alleged to have lured another students into a car where they brutally beat her and robber her. There have been additional violent incidents over the past month.
The complaint charges one count of Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree as a Crime of Public Corruption, a class C felony; one count of Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree, a class D felony; and 47 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree, each a class D felony.
At her arraignment this afternoon, the defendant was ordered to surrender any and all firearms she owns or possesses to the Greenburgh Police Department, the town where she resides. Bail was set at $3,500 cash/$7,500 bond. The next court appearance is scheduled for March 8, 2018, in New Rochelle City Court.
The felony complaint alleges that from October, 2012, through February, 2017, Martell used her positon to steal over $35,000 from the City School District of New Rochelle. In large part, the defendant stole these funds from the district by taking 45 school district paychecks, each made payable to other staff members. In total, the defendant took school district paychecks made payable to 15 separate staff members, many of whom were part-time employees and athletics coaches. After the defendant stole a check, she forged the staff member’s signature on the back of the check and deposited the City School District of New Rochelle funds into her personal bank accounts.
Further, and in an attempt to conceal her crimes, the defendant also forged the school district Athletics Director’s name upon two false business records: a fraudulent School District Consultant Agreement and a fraudulent School District Requisition Purchase Order. These two false records alone allowed the defendant to obtain over $4,000 from the district that she then used in an attempt to conceal a series of earlier thefts.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brian F. Fitzgerald, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau.