By Rich Bockmann
A Queens doctor was arrested last Thursday on charges she allegedly scammed hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from the nonprofit Hollis clinic she operated, authorities said.
Dorothy Ogundu, 58, was charged with defrauding the city, state and federal governments by allegedly stealing $373,000 in grants allocated to Angeldocs Inc., the clinic she runs on Hillside Avenue in Hollis.
“Dorothy Ogundu pocketed hundreds of thousands of city, state and federal taxpayer dollars intended to help those who need it most with their healthcare costs,” state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “City, state and federal funds intended to serve New Yorkers in need should not be used to line the pockets of people running charities.”
Ogundu pleaded not guilty before Judge Barry Kron in Queens Supreme Court Dec. 5. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top charge of grand larceny.
According to Schneiderman, Ogundu received a total of 12 grants intended to support Angeldocs’ programs and build a state-of-the art demonstration kitchen at her clinic.
But instead of using the funds to help the public, Ogundu allegedly used the money to pay the mortgage and utilities on a commercial building she owns on Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans, the AG said.
According to the Angeldocs website, the clinic offers programs in health literacy, adolescent preparedness and healthy eating. The website also touts Ogundu’s work addressing the health needs of women in rural communities is sub-Saharan Africa, but the charges allege she used some of the ill-gotten money to buy cars and ship them off to Nigeria.
Ogundu allegedly stole $91,000 from the city, $87,000 from the state and $195,000 from the federal government.
“This doctor deprived the needy of hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal gain. The fact that she allegedly scammed $373,000 from the state, city and federal governments shows the breadth of her fraud and greed,” state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “Through our joint anti-corruption task force, we will continue to investigate and prosecute those who steal from the public.”
Schneiderman also announced he was able to obtain a forfeiture order permitting him to seize up to $373,000 of Ogundu’s assets.
In a civil action filed against the doctor, the AG is seeking more than half a million dollars in damages in penalties.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.