NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Manhattan Actress Phoenix Toliver Arrested by NYPD for Theft of Cash from 9/11 Museum

Actress Phoenix Toliver

9/11 Museum Tour Guide Phoenix Toliver Charged with Grand Larceny.
June 20, 2014 An up-and-coming musical theater actress from Las Vegas, Nevada who came to New York to pursue a career in the theatre was arrested by NYPD Detectives at her Manhattan apartment after admitting on tape that she stole thousands in cash over many months while working as a tour guide at the 9/11 Museum. Phoenix Toliver, age 26, was caught in a sting operation by the Museum’s founder in which decoys posing as Museum guests came as walk-ins with no reservations, paid in cash for their tickets and merchandise and then left, only to have their money pocketed by Ms. Toliver in an on-going scam she had concocted herself. On the day she was caught, she took in a haul of over $300.00 in cash.

The plan was simple: Don’t report the walk-ins who showed up daily, pocket the cash — and then under-report the merchandise sales and pocket that cash as well. Problem is that the cash she was stealing was earmarked for many 9/11 FDNY charities and the true and accurate amount of what she stole over 6 months is almost incalculable according to the Museum’s manager, Laura Johnson. On the day she was caught, she admitted on tape stealing the money so she could Western Union it to her mother in Las Vegas who she claimed had a gambling addiction.

In what was a true example of kindness, 9/11 Museum directors offered Ms. Toliver a chance at redemption: to stay out of jail and avoid having a criminal record if she agreed to pay around $3,000.00 of what she stole, which is estimated to be well over $10,000.00. They forgoed having her arrested on scene by NYPD and offered her a payment plan along with the offer to have her work two days a week as a volunteer. Toliver agreed to make payments of around $300.00 per month after she secured a new job elsewhere and would work 2 days per week at the Museum. After agreeing, Ms. Toliver didn’t make her payments and went missing in action, forcing the 9/11 Museum to turn over the voice recordings to NYPD Detectives at the 6th Precinct in Manhattan. Toliver was then arrested at her apartment on Maiden Lane by NYPD Detective Montalvo for Grand Larceny. She was charged in Criminal Court of the State of New York, County of New York with one count of a Felony, PL 155.30(1). Docket # 2014NY015491.

Phoenix Toliver

Actress Phoenix Toliver of Manhattan Takes

Plea Deal in 9/11 Museum Cash Scam.

The next part is even better: After being caught stealing from the 9/11 Museum and being charged, Toliver then marched down the NYS Department of Labor and filed an unemployment claim! Yes, you’re reading this correctly — she wanted to collect unemployment from the Museum she had been nabbed embezzling from. The claim was of course denied.

Toliver apparently used some of her 9/11 cash haul to hire a very good attorney who was able to cajole New York Criminal Court Judge Lisa Sokoloff and ADA Matthew DellaBetta to whittle the case down from Grand Larceny to just Petit Larceny if she took a plea deal — a true Christmas gift for Ms. Toliver, who in all likelihood should have faced some jail time for stealing from a 501c3 charity that hits home for all New Yorkers. Toliver was given a slap on the wrist, found liable for just $1,000.00 and walked away free. She also never attempted to repay the 9/11 Museum a penny — claiming to Judge Sokoloff that she had no money and no job — which sufficed.

A civil case was instigated against Phoenix Toliver by the Museum and she lost by default after not appearing before the court. In yet another twist by ADA Matthew DellaBetta, Judge Sokoloff and Ms. Toliver’s attorney, the written judgment against her was manipulated and twisted to read that she stole from the Museum’s director as opposed to the 9/11 Museum itself — a crafty ploy to protect Toliver from future scrutiny. Better to have the court records state that she stole from an individual, as opposed to stealing from a New York 9/11 Museum. Very crafty “attorneyship.” However, from the initial NYPD reports all the way through court proceedings, the complaints had originated from the Museum itself and not any one individual. Once again, a deliberate and unethical move on the behalf of all involved to protect a young woman who — for six months — had turned the Museum into her own business and didn’t care about charities she damaged.

To this day, the elusive Ms. Toliver has not paid back the monies she stole. ADA DellaBetta and Judge Sokoloff should have been worrying more about the Museum’s charities when the judgement was filled out as opposed to Toliver’s future. Attempts to reach Ms. Toliver for comment were unsuccessful.

Phoenix Toliver NYC

Phoenix Toliver, a Musical Theatre Actress Charged with Stealing from 9/11 Charities.

Phoenix Toliver NYC Confession

Confession document from People of the State of New York vs. Phoenix Toliver.

9/11 Museum Theft Case against Phoenix Toliver

NYPD Detective’s Document: 9/11 Museum Theft Case against Phoenix Toliver, Defendant.

9/11 Museum Theft Case against Phoenix Toliver in NYC

Civil Case 60091/15: Judgment Against Actress Phoenix Toliver of New York.

NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Hell's Kitties Launch Party at Koneko Cat Cafe

On January 8, 2017, I was joined by fellow Authors April Grey, Carole Ann Moleti and Steven Van Patten made the Hell's Kittles Launch Party at Koneko Cat Cafe a purrfect event! The space is bright, modern and welcoming! The cats warmed up to us right away--one named Eric tried to climb into my bag, attracted by the scent of my kitties, Chester and Sabrina!

All photos compliments of Alp Beck!

NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

Caught a Smidge of Cat Scratch Fever...

So I was playing with my brother's cat, Winston, who knows and loves me, but he got overexcited when we were roughhousing on Christmas Eve…The cat scratched my right hand in two places. The scratches didn't just sting, they burned, really bad, so I washed them, applied antibiotic ointment and two Band-Aids. The next afternoon, I noticed a cluster of red dots above my left eye and my right arm had started to ache...These are both symptoms of Cat Scratch Fever...The red dots above my eye have vanished, but my right arm is still killing me. I'm due for a Physical with my doctor after the holidays--I'll ask her to confirm my hunch about contracting Cat Scratch Fever with a blood test.

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NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

2016: Year in Review

2016 was a year chock-full of highs and a few lows...On the plus side, I joined the International Thriller Writers; in addition, I sold stories to various anthologies including: Fright Mare, Hell's Kitties and Tales from The Lake Vol. 3, just to name a few. On the freelancing front, I got a few referrals from happy clients and also from the Freelancers Union!

On the downside, my landlady actually managed to find an interested buyer for the building where I've lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn for the past 14 years; the only catch: the interested new owner wants to buy out all of the tenants' rent-stabilized leases. His first offer was insulting. As per NYC law, he cannot contact me again for 6 months. We'll see what happens. No one else in the building is eager to move. I've applied to several 80/20 buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but it's a long, arduous process...

NYC Crime Fiction, Amy Grech

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