MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a paralegal from Las Vegas, Nevada, who, with her husband stole more than $900,000 from a construction company based in Lynbrook, N.Y. was sentenced yesterday to two to six years in prison. As part of her sentence, Linda Minervini, 54, will also have to pay $456,617.15 in restitution.
Her husband, Thomas Cacaci Jr., 38, was sentenced on August 2 and ordered to pay $456,657.95 in restitution, $71,000 of which has been paid to date.
They pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz on June 6 to Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree.
“This sentence holds accountable thieves who used a Nassau construction company’s bank account as a personal slush fund to support their extravagant lifestyle,” said DA Singas. “This prosecution should send a strong message that those who steal from Nassau businesses will face serious consequences.”
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 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 much greater than the company was expecting 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 NCDA 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 was represented by Joseph Lo Piccolo, Esq. and Cacaci was represented by Howard Teichner, Esq.