A police officer was indicted Tuesday for allegedly using a dead man's credit cards to buy herself diamond jewelry, prosecutors said.
Thirty-year-old Ymmacula Pierre, in July 2014, apparently responded to a call to check on a 65-year-old man in his apartment near Union Square.
Pierre is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, identity theft, attempted grand larceny, and official misconduct. She was released without bail and required to turn over her passport during her arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday.
"Because police officers take an oath to protect and serve, they are held to a higher standard of behavior in the course of their duties," District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. "In this case, the defendant is accused of disgraceful conduct by using the credit card information of a dead man to buy expensive jewelry. No grieving relative should have to worry about alleged theft and misconduct by a uniformed officer in the aftermath of a loved one's passing."
An attorney for Pierre, Israel Fried, said she pleaded not guilty.
"She's a sweet and nice person," Fried said. "She's maintaining her innocence."
On July 14, 2014, Pierre got to the man's apartment, but found he had died. She then used his phone to call one of his relatives, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Pierre took some of his property into police custody and vouchered it, including one of his credit cards. But two days later, the officer allegedly used that same credit card information to buy a diamond ring from Zales that cost more than $3,200.
When the man's family was notified of the possible fraud, they contacted Zales. Pierre apparently asked for the ring to be delivered to a friend's house, whose name and address she used as a personal reference for her NYPD application, prosecutors said.
Pierre's next court appearance is scheduled for August 11.