Prospect Heights woman arrested for allegedly defrauding the Parks Department

Prospect Heights woman arrested for allegedly defrauding the Parks Department
Courtesy of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society

A Prospect Heights woman is facing seven years behind bars for allegedly stealing more than $30,000 from the Department of Parks and Recreation, where she has worked since 2005.

Police arrested 44-year-old Nicole Gamory, accusing her of using her status as a community associate in the department to steal funds from clients reserving event space at a Queens park, according to Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett.

Between February 2014 and June 2018, Gamorny steered 54 client payments — totalling $30,911 — meant as deposits to reserve the Oak Ridge building in Forest Park for 36 events into private banks accounts under her control, according to investigators.

Investigators were tipped off to the scheme by the Forest Park Trust — a nonprofit organization that manages programs in the park, according to authorities.

Subsequent investigation showed that Gamory deposited the misappropriated funds — which should have been earmarked for Forest Park Trust’s bank — into her personal accounts, including $1,450 for a Sweet Sixteen in 2015, and $1,936 for a wedding in 2016.

Gamory, who receives an annual salary of $59,363, was suspended from the Parks Department immediately following her arrest, according to investigators.

Prosecutors slapped the suspended parks guru with 17 charges, including grand larceny and falsifying business records.

Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan, who is tasked with prosecuting the case, blasted Gamory’s actions as reprehensible.

“Our community parks are there for everyone to enjoy for everyday recreation as well as special occasions,” Ryan said. “This employee allegedly decided to funnel deposits to her own bank accounts. This kind of conduct is unacceptable.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.