A Queens woman, who works at Belmont Park, was arrested Thursday and stands accused of knowingly accepting counterfeit cash from her associates and passing along betting receipts for the fake dough, allowing the associates to exchange the receipts for real money, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
Karen Pommells, 30, of St. Albans, was arrested Aug. 29 at the racetrack by detectives from the Nassau County Police District Attorney Squad. She faces forgery, grand larceny and conspiracy charges.
According to prosecutors, Pommells, who worked as a New York Racing Authority cashier, accepted $4,800 in counterfeit currency from two associates on May 19, 2012. She then allegedly exchanged the phony cash for valid betting receipts.
The two associates reportedly took the receipts to a different racetrack cashier and cashed them in for actual money. Prosecutors said each betting receipt was marked with a barcode, which allows the holder the use the receipt at electronic kiosks in the facility.
“This defendant didn’t just break the law, she broke the trust placed in her by her employer and the people of New York,” Rice said. “Ms. Pommells now faces criminal prosecution and serious consequences.”
In a statement, New York Racing Authority spokesman Eric Wing said: “The New York Racing Association cooperated fully with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in their investigation of this 2012 incident. We appreciate the District Attorney’s vigilance in this matter.”
Pommels was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy.
She is due to be arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead and faces up to 15 years in prison, if she is convicted.