Police: Woman charged with alleged $324K theft in Stamford

The Stamford Police Headquarters.

The Stamford Police Headquarters.

File photo / Contributed

STAMFORD — A former executive assistant for a Stamford commodities trading business turned herself over to police earlier this week and was charged with stealing just over $324,000 from her employer.

Police say the woman rang up 700 purchases from Amazon worth more than $135,000 during the three years that she was allegedly stealing money from her employer.

Stamford police Financial Crimes investigator Mike Stepien, who investigated the case, said the South End commodities trading company came to police in June to report that the executive assistant, Nadia Lewis, 33, of Riverview Avenue, who had been laid off as a result of the coronavirus, might have stolen as much as $200,000, police said.

When police looked into the matter they found that she took even more, police said. Her attorney Brittany Paz, did not return a call seeking comment.

The company credit card that police saiy Lewis used was linked to an Amazon account in her employer’s name, police said.

“That ... allowed the company to take a closer look at the over 700 purchases that she claimed had been made for the company’s benefit,” Stempien said. “But after looking at the majority of items purchased, it was clear that these were not related to the businesses.”

Stempien said many of the purchases were for lingerie, baby clothes, women's clothing, diapers and other personal items, the majority of which were shipped not to her company address but to her Shelton home, he said.

“We literally went through all 700 purchases to confirm the amounts and see that the company's investigation matched what we were seeing,” Stempien said.

But the bulk of the amount allegedly stolen, $189,000 worth, appears to have involved Lewis making payments from the company via Pay Pal to a personal event-planning business run by Lewis, Stempien said. He said a portion of the Amazon purchases appeared to have been made for the event-planning business.

Stempien said the alleged thefts occurred between late 2017 and March 2020, when the company became suspicious.

Lewis turned herself in to police on Monday, police said, and was able to post 10 percent of her $75,000 court appearance bond.

She is scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of first-degree larceny on Sept. 21.