UPDATE: Calls From Public May Lead to More Charges for Alleged Scammer

According to police, Ellen Burkheimer pretended she was representing Head Start, an educational program kids from for low-income families.

Updated: Det. Sgt. Michael Fitzharris said that as of early Wednesday evening, police had already received a couple of calls from members of the public saying they had been scammed by Burkheimer themselves.

"Hopefully the additional complainants may or may not support evidence related to the scheme," Fitzharris said. "And there could possibly be additional charges."

In addition, Fitzharris said Burkheimer had created a false IRS document to lend credibility to her story – which had led to the felony forgery charges.

"The IRS document took it to another level. She admitted that," he said.

Fitzharris added that in addition to being seen in the Centereach area, Burkheimer had been illegally soliciting funds in Lake Grove as well.

Original story: Police said a Port Jefferson Station woman was recently arrested after she was caught attempting to scam people for donations for a children's educational program, while using the money to buy drugs.

Police responded responded to a location on Route 25 in Centereach around 3 p.m. on Saturday, reportedly finding Ellen Burkheimer pretending to represent Head Start, which provides education and health services for children in low-income families.

According to police, Burkheimer had fraudulent documents in her possession as part of the scheme and further investigation revealed that she was using funds that she received to purchase heroin, pay her rent and for other various personal expenses.

She was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, a felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of scheme to defraud in the second degree and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

According to online court records, she was held on $3,000 cash bail, which she was unable to pay, and is due back in court on Friday.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about her reported scheme to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. 

IrishJoan January 09, 2013 at 10:21 PM
She "hit me up" in the parking lot at Infant Jesus while my child was receiving religious instruction. I had a feeling that she was up to no good, but I was with my other child, so I essentially gave her a dollar to be rid of her. A couple of weeks later, she approached my husband in the Walbaum's parking, however, he sent her on her merry way with a bit of a tongue lashing! I'm so upset that I didn't do the same. She is a lowlife piece of trash that deserves the book thrown at her but I guarantee she will be back in no time.
IrishJoan January 09, 2013 at 10:41 PM
I just called the number for the sixth precinct and spoke to a detective who took all of my information. He is having the head detective call me for further information. I thought my run-in with her was incidental but the officer I spoke to was extremely appreciative. In fact, he said that he hopes more people call and that every bit of information helps. So if you were approached by her, please call!
debbie January 11, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Hi I also saw her at rocketship park in Port Jefferson using the same scam.... I did not give her money as I knew it was a scam. I did call the 6th precinct and the detective said for anyone who gave her money to call the sixth precinct.
Danielle Seminaro Ohlrogge January 11, 2013 at 01:28 PM
I also saw her in McDonald's. she approached me with a folder full of information and a picture of her so called son. Said she was raising money for a program or something for the head start program at the early child hood center located next to the Greek church. I am familiar with that school and I gave her 1 dollar . I had a feeling she was shady but I just wanted her to leave us alone. NEVER AGIN unfortunately next time I will be rude and take out my phone instead of cash and tell them if they don't walk away I'm calling 911
sue January 30, 2013 at 08:36 PM
amazing this story.addicts will do anything to get the drugs.this women deserves what she gets.her 2 year old son is severely handicapped with issuses though.he will not know what his mother has done to survive.being scamed by such people is awful.i know all too well from my own experiences.i have beened scammed by this women in the past way before this lastest incident.as i said before she deserves what she gets.


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