HEMPSTEAD - The treasurer of a church in East Meadow has pleaded not guilty to embezzling $35,000.

Prosecutors say Ronald Ousman, 38, of Great Neck, embezzled the money from Holy Trinity Orthodox Church between May 2014 and May 2015.

Church attorney Ken Marten calls the situation a tragedy.

"It is a terrible abuse of a responsible position, someone in a position of trust," says Marten.

Marten says members of the congregation became suspicious when money was taken out of bank accounts with no explanation and donations were made to the church that were never deposited.

The acting district attorney says the investigation began after church officials contacted the IRS regarding certain tax payments and found that they were never received.

Ousman was charged with third-degree grand larceny. He is due back in court on Sept. 15.