Trusted Bookkeeper Embezzles From Physician

Modified: August 4, 2014 9:33am


Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 53 year-old Suzanne Glawatz of 19 Katelyn Lane, Lancaster, pleaded guilty as charged to Grand Larceny in the First Degree and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree before Senior Erie County Court Judge Michael D’Amico. These are the highest charges for which she could have been convicted had she gone to trial. In other words, Glawatz was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Between February 1, 2007 and February 14, 2014, Glawatz stole over 1.8 million dollars from the medical practice of Dr. Marcelle Grassi, where she was employed as the bookkeeper. She embezzled these funds using two methods.  First, she pocketed $722,943.91 in cash coming into the practice to cover co-pays and procedures.  The second method of theft involved Glawatz having the doctor write a series of “loan” checks to her, which she then falsely claimed to have paid back. In reality, Glawatz was using money earned by Dr. Grassi to purportedly “pay back” Dr. Grassi. This scam netted Glawatz another $1,101,148.38.

Shockingly, Glawatz did not report any of the $1.8 million in stolen money as income on her NYS income tax returns.  Ironically, Glawatz not only benefited from evading her taxes, she also received an aggregate refund of $6,900 from from New York State.

Glawatz appears to have been motived by greed and a desire to impress others with her financial status. Glawatz also spent the embezzled funds on herself and her family, including the purchase of a Mercedes Benz and the financing of several family vacations as well as her child’s law school education.

Glawatz faces a maximum of 10-to-32 years in state prison when she is sentenced on September 11, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge D’Amico. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Brian P. Dassero and Holly P. Tucker, both of whom are assigned to DA Sedita’s Financial Crimes Bureau.