As court officers handcuffed accountant Scott Meyer in a Suffolk County courtroom Tuesday morning, he began to weep.
“Oh God, no,” he mumbled as he was led him away to be held on a slew of felony larceny and forgery charges.
The Huntington-based certified public accountant who stands accused for stealing about $150,000 from an elderly Greenport man suffering from dementia — and another $660,000 from two of his other clients — was ordered to be held on held $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 bond after he was arraigned Tuesday in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside.
Prosecutors said Mr. Meyer had been previously convicted on two federal felony charges for misappropriation of insurance funds and conspiracy. He was suspended from accounting following those convictions, but was reinstated six months later.
Additional sentencing information on that conviction wasn’t immediately available.
“I’m just shocked that they let this guy practice again,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.
Mr. Meyer, 47, of Seaford was charged with six counts of grand larceny and 15 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, all felonies. If convicted, Mr. Meyer could serve up to 45 years in prison, as three of the grand larceny charges could run consecutively.
Authorities said Mr. Meyer took about $150,000 from the Greenport victim by writing checks to himself and filling his bank accounts with the victim’s money. Mr. Meyer is also accused of taking $240,000 from a disabled man now living in a California assisted living facility.
Prosecutors also allege that Mr. Meyer preyed on a “rural cemetery association” nonprofit group in Huntington.
Assistant District Attorney Donna Planty said Mr. Meyer stole $427,000 by taking advantage of the group president’s poor eyesight. Mr. Meyer would have the president — who was legally blind due to glaucoma — sign off on checks to Mr. Meyer.
When the president resigned, Mr. Meyer continued to write checks to himself by forging the new president’s name, she said. Mr. Meyer provided prosecutors with a written confession admitting to stealing some of those stolen funds.
“He stole from these three vulnerable victims,” Mr. Spota said. “These people, they have no idea this is happening.”
Mr. Meyer had been arrested six months ago and released on $25,000 bail for lesser charges.
His attorney, David Besso, argued that Mr. Meyer — who arrived in court clean shaven, wearing a suit and glasses — had not tried to flee the area, and that the family was “having difficulty financially.”
Mr. Besso also said that Mr. Meyer is a father of five and coaches basketball for his children’s teams. He said they requested that bail be set at $50,000.
But Judge Stephen Braslow said the charges against Mr. Meyer were too serious to allow such a low bail.
“Fifty thousand dollars is beyond low as far as a case like this is concerned,” he said.
Mr. Braslow also issued orders of protections barring Mr. Meyer from contacting two of his victims and ordered a hearing in case Mr. Meyer posts bail to ensure he wasn’t using stolen funds to secure his release.