Former NYC human resources worker spends $300K on voodoo spell, family and friends

Eliana Bauta thought she could use a spell to conjure funds for herself and her family and vengeance on an ex lover. But the magic didn't work for her

A former human resources staffer for the City of New York apparently thought funds intended for the people on hard

Manhattan Federal Court
Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A former human resources staffer for the City of New York apparently thought funds intended for the people on hard times amounted to her personal bank account, using municipal funds to put a hex on her ex and generate checks for family and friends.

Eliana Bauta, 35, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Manhattan to one count of federal program theft, the New York Post reported.

Her plea was related to her theft of more than $300,000 in city funds to issue fraudulent benefits to family and friends who didn’t need them, and to a “supernatural specialist” who put a spell on a former significant other, the New York Daily News reported.

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“I issued benefits to people who were not entitled to them,” the Post reported Bauta said during her court appearance before Circuit Judge Valerie Caproni.

Prosecutors said that in the case involving the supernatural consultant, Bauta put in a request for benefits for someone who’d experienced a disaster that never happened, the Post reported. The only problem is that the disaster never took place. The funds actually served as payment to someone who put a spell on her ex-boyfriend.

Bauta’s scheme also included falsifying documents and sending out emergency benefits checks to people with no emergencies, the News reported.

Prosecutors said nobody has time for people like Bauta, who had two co-conspirators who pleaded guilty in February.

“HRA employees like Eliana Bauta are trusted to use their positions to help people in need,” Manhattan District Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. “Instead, as she has now admitted, Bauta egregiously abused that trust, working with her co-conspirators to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for New York’s needy.”

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Said city Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett, “This illegal conduct demonstrates the type of devastating impact corruption can have — in this case, stealing money intended for New Yorkers in need of housing and cash assistance.”

Bauta faces about two years in prison, according to the Daily News.