Last year’s acid attack in Queens was part of a $750,000 embezzlement scheme, Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown announced today.
A Queens County grand jury indicted three individuals in connection with the incident: Kim Williams, 47, of the Bronx, who formerly worked as an accountant at Hospital Audiences, Inc. (also known as Healing Arts Initiative) located at 33-02 Skillman Avenue in Long Island City; Pia Louallen, 41, of the Bronx; and Jerry Mohammed, 32, of Rensselaer County.
Brown said that Williams, who was previously employed at the LIC nonprofit – which provides access to the various arts to students and the less fortunate – stole more than $600,000 and provided Louallen with $150,000 of the nonprofits proceeds.
In attempt to cover up her alleged theft, Williams conspired with Mohammed to commit assault on, Rev. D. Alexandra Dyer, the nonprofit’s executive director.
The complaint says, on Aug. 19, 2015, as Dyer left work, Mohammed threw a caustic substance at her, causing severe burns to her face and other portions of the body. Reverend Dyer was hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries as a result of the attack.
“As alleged, the investigation revealed the defendants embezzled and then severely injured the victim, in an elaborate cover-up scheme,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement. “Today, three find themselves under arrest for this brazen crime”
Both Louallen and Mohammed are expected to be arraigned later today by Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak. Williams who was arrested last night in New Jersey by New Jersey State troopers at a rest stop is being held in Camden County awaiting an extradition hearing. All defendants will be arraigned on a 65-count indictment.
According to the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, Williams is charged with first-degree assault, fourth-degree conspiracy, fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree grand larceny, identity theft and first-degree falsifying business records. Louallen is charged with second-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy. Mohammed is charged with first-degree assault, fourth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
If convicted, Louallen faces up to 15 years in prison, Williams faces up to 25 years in prison, and Mohammed faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
“This case is troubling on so many different levels. In an atmosphere of such giving, it is disheartening to see an individual allegedly use her position of fiduciary trust to siphon off tens of thousands of dollars in funds for the personal use of herself and another,” Brown said in a statement. “More disturbing, perhaps, is the same individual allegedly conspiring with another individual to intentionally seriously injure an innocent victim as part of a cover-up. The three defendants now face serious charges.”