Linda Minervini and Thomas Cacaci Jr. purchased a time share in Las Vegas with stolen money
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that that a paralegal from Las Vegas, Nevada and her husband who stole more than $900,000 from a construction company based in Lynbrook, N.Y. pleaded guilty today to grand larceny charges.
Linda Minervini, 53, and Thomas Cacaci Jr., 37, pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz to Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree. The defendants are due back in court on August 2 for sentencing. The NCDA is recommending the defendants be sentenced to three to nine years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $913,315.89.
“These defendants created a sham company to collect fraudulent claims settlements and stole more than $900,000 from a Long Island contracting company which they used to pay personal expenses,” said DA Singas. “Like most embezzlers, this scam left a paper trail that our investigators and prosecutors dutifully followed to bring this case, and I am grateful for their work to hold these defendants accountable.”
DA Singas said that Minervini was employed as a paralegal for a Lynbrook-based construction company. As part of her responsibilities, Minervini was authorized to settle liability construction claims under $10,000 and obtained general releases of liability from the claimants involved and sent them their settlement checks.
Between October 2009 and November 2015, the defendant embezzled $913,315.89 from the company by creating checks to pay claims that did not actually exist. The checks were then signed by the victim, who did not know they were fraudulent and altered by adding other payees to them without the knowledge or consent of her employer. At the beginning of the scheme, many of the checks were made out to Cacaci, who cashed many of them at a check cashing business, and then later then assisted in depositing checks into the account of a corporation he and Minervini formed in 2010 in the name of New York Emergency & First Response Inc. (“NYEFR”). Both defendants had access to the account.
The scheme was discovered in November 2015 when the office manager of the company became suspicious because the quantity of checks generated for these settlements was disproportionately greater than the amount of discussion taking place within the company concerning these claimants. Minervini was subsequently fired.
In addition to spending the money on the time share, the defendants also spent it on expenses related to Cacaci’s parents’ Las Vegas home, household furnishings, automobiles, legal fees, airline tickets, hotel lodging and other daily living expenses.
The defendants lived in Las Vegas, where they moved to after living in Queens, NY, and were arrested by Las Vegas Police on December 9. They waived extradition and were transported by district attorney investigators to New York to face the charges.
Assistant District Attorney Peter Mancuso of DA Singas’ Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case. Minervini is represented by Joseph Lo Piccolo, Esq. and Cacaci is represented by Howard Teichner,Esq..