The former head of the primary lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community center in The Bronx was arrested after allegedly swindling more than $338,000 from the nonprofit.
Lisa Winters, 47, a former appointee of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was busted June 15 by the Bronx District Attorney's Office and charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records at the Bronx Community Pride Center (BCPC), where she was executive director from 2004 until her termination in 2010.
Winters' alleged looting left the city-supported center -- which serves 1,000 LGBT people -- facing a huge deficit that could lead to its closure by Saturday, officials warned.
"I really can't say anything," Winters told a reporter Monday outside her Manhattan home.
Winters was fired in January 2010, as the city Department of Investigation (DOI) opened a probe into claims she spent charity money without authorization. A year earlier, Bloomberg had appointed her to a commission studying homeless and runaway LGBT youth.
In a January report, the DOI's inspector general found that Winters used $338,674 of the center's operating funds for personal expenses from 2005 until 2009.
Up to $25,000 was spent on a monthlong trip Winters and her now-wife, Eileen Scroggins, took to South Africa in July 2007, according to a criminal complaint.
Another $4,681 paid for Winters' travel to the United Kingdom and the Turks & Caicos, authorities said.
Investigators also found that $15,953 went to a woman named Anne Wright, who was "Winters' dog walker," the report found.
Another $12,000 charged by Winters went to restaurant meals, $9,604 was spent at pet stores, $11,000 at clothing stores and $1,884 at liquor stores, the report said.
BCPC Board Chair Michelle Lopez told investigators that her daughter lived in Winters' home in 2008 and that Winters took her on a cruise.
That cruise was purchased by the center "to auction at a fundraiser ... [but] Lopez said that Winters ... instead took the cruise package for herself," the DOI report said.
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