A Lackawanna woman today admitted stealing more than $58,000 from Forster’s Pharmacy in Blasdell.
Shirley R. Mecozzi, 66, worked as a bookkeeper at the business and unlawfully wrote checks to take the money.
“I just would write checks and cash them in the hopes that when I got paid I would pay it back,” Mecozzi told Erie County Judge Michael D’Amico.
Mecozzi pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and faces a sentence of anywhere from probation to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Mecozzi, who had no prior criminal record, cited “extenuating family circumstances” when asked why she stole the money.
She stole $58,238 from the pharmacy. The pharmacy recouped $10,000 from its insurance carrier and also got a check from Mecozzi for $5,000. She also signed over her final paychecks.
In all, the pharmacy has recovered $16,371 - or slightly more than one-quarter of the stolen amount, according to John C. Doscher, head of the Erie County District Attorney’s Special Investigations Bureau, who prosecutes embezzlers and others accused of financial crimes.
D’Amico did not make Mecozzi any promises about a sentence but indicated a restitution order for the full amount would likely be part of the sentence.
She was released on her own recognizance. Her sentencing was scheduled for May 21.