Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced Tuesday that Estelle Cooper, the former administrator of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and executive director of Unisphere, Inc., a non-profit conservancy group that she helped establish and which funds activities at the park, has been indicted on charges that she stole $50,000 from the conservancy.
According to officials, Cooper, 82, of Whitestone, Queens, faces a two-count indictment, charging her with second- and third-degree grand larceny. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The alleged fraud was discovered in November, 2011, as a result of an internal audit conducted by Unisphere, Inc. The results of the audit were referred to the Queens District Attorney's Office in February, 2012.
Cooper obtained access to Unisphere funds and systematically stole more than $50,000 between Nov. 1, 2007 and Dec. 3, 2011, according to reports.
Cooper resigned as the executive director of Unisphere, Inc., in December, 2011, and the following month, tendered her resignation as administrator of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and assistant commissioner with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.