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Long IslandCrime

Former CFO from LI pleads guilty to stealing from Manhasset real estate firm

A Valley Stream man who federal prosecutors said siphoned millions of dollars from his employer to fund his own business ventures and personal extravagances pleaded guilty Tuesday to a count of wire fraud, officials said.

Kwesi Bovell, 36, who was the former chief financial officer for The Mulholland Group, a Manhasset-based real estate firm, entered the plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown in federal court in Central Islip, said Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in a news release.

He faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced as well as restitution and a fine.

Bovell's attorney, Joseph Kilada of Garden City, could not be reached for comment.

But John G. Martin of Great Neck, who represented Mulholland, said the company was happy to hear of the plea and hopes for a long prison term.

"Ms. Kennedy Mulholland is pleased that Bovell’s years long life of fraud, theft and betrayal has finally caught up with him and that he will soon be heading to prison," Martin said. "The maximum sentence he faces is 20 years, and that is surely what he deserves for his shocking betrayal of Royce Mulholland, who trusted Bovell with responsibility for the financial arm of Royce’s life’s work, The Mulholland Group, an entity dedicated to providing low-income housing for underprivileged communities."

Prosecutors said Bovell, who was hired in 2015, for the next three years took more than $3.5 million from Mulholland for his own company, Southgate Holding LLC, and used the money on two laundromats and a fitness center that he owned and to buy luxury goods.

“With today’s guilty plea, Bovell has been held responsible for betraying his employer’s trust by stealing millions of dollars to benefit himself, from the time he was hired until the discovery of his fraud,” Donoghue said.

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