The former executive director of a Jamaica nonprofit organization who admitted to embezzling approximately $100,000 in federal and state funds to finance a lavish lifestyle of hiring maids and nannies, and posh upgrades to her home has been sentenced to jail time, prosecutors announced.
New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announced on Wednesday, Feb. 22, that Yolanda Vitulli, 53, formerly of Merrick, and now a resident of Mohnton, Pennsylvania, will have to serve three months in jail for stealing the funds. Additionally, Vitulli will have to pay $88,659 restitution and serve up to as much as 300 hours of community service over three years of supervised release.
“This defendant preyed on our most vulnerable people to enrich herself and subsidize a life of luxury,” Scott said. “I will relentlessly pursue anyone who exploits the developmentally disabled and steals taxpayer funds.”
Vitulli ran the Tender Care Human Services — which provides services to autistic individuals and people with developmental disabilities — for 15 years. Through an investigation by Scott and her partners, it was discovered that Vitulli stole the $100,000 from the organization between 2009 and May 2014 to pay for housekeepers who would clean her home, do her laundry and provide childcare services.
Additionally, between January 2012 and November 2013, Vitulli used taxpayer money to purchase and install a Bahama Spas hot tub, as well as the installation of a new dishwasher, a security camera system, fencing at her property and bedroom furniture.