A paralegal and her spouse were arrested in Las Vegas and charged with stealing more than $900,000 from a Lynbrook construction company by falsifying claims, Nassau prosecutors said Wednesday.
The couple, who had moved from separate residences in Queens to Las Vegas in May, were charged with multiple felonies including for grand larceny and criminal possession of forged instruments.
The paralegal, Linda Minervini, 53, and her husband, Thomas Cacaci Jr., 37, allegedly spent the money looted from Minervini’s employer on a time share, cars, airline tickets, hotels, household furnishings and legal fees, District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
“When employees embezzle, they should expect to be fully prosecuted by my office,” Singas said.
Minervini was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail or $1,000,000 bond; Cacaci was ordered held on $200,000 cash bail or $300,000 bond.
Minervini’s employer, which Singas did not name, had authorized her to settle liability construction claims of less than $10,000, obtain releases and send claimants their checks, Singas said, outlining the alleged scheme.
Instead, Singas said, Minervini embezzled $913,315 from the company by creating checks to pay fictitious claims between October 2009 and November 2015.
The checks were endorsed by the victim, who did not know they were fraudulent; other payees were added to the checks without “the knowledge or consent” of her employer, Singas said.
Initially, Singas said, many checks were made out to Cacaci, who also deposited them into the account of New York Emergency & First Response Inc., a corporation he and Minervini formed in 2010. Cacaci worked as an emergency medical technician.
The scheme began to unravel in November 2015 when the company’s office manager became suspicious, the prosecutor said.
Minervini, who was fired, could be sentenced to a maximum of 7 1⁄2 to 15 years in prison if she is convicted. Cacaci faces an indeterminate sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison.
An attorney for the couple could not be reached for comment Wednesday.