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Country club caterer sought for back rent

The caterer at the Brentwood Country Club

The caterer at the Brentwood Country Club has allegedly taken off with thousands of dollars in wedding deposits and other funds at the Islip Town owned facility. (Oct. 24, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

Islip officials plan to press civil charges against a caterer at the Brentwood Country Club who allegedly owes the town more than $215,000, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Samuel Vergari, who owns Forlano Enterprises, abandoned his staff and clients this week at the Pennsylvania Avenue country club and left with about $40,000 in deposits from events the company is scheduled to cater, town spokeswoman Inez Birbiglia said.

Vergari did not return calls for comment. His Brooklyn attorney Walter Anderocci rebuked the allegations. "The information is completely inaccurate, and I'm not going to get involved," Anderocci said, adding that Vergari's company has operated out of the country club for 20 years. "The Town of Islip is not very nice to Mr. Vergari, and that's all I will say."

Town officials plan to seek more than two years of back rent from Vergari. Birbiglia said the new administration contacted Vergari in February to address the mounting debt. "They started cracking down on the books, and he's been notified constantly," Birbiglia said.

After three notices, Birbiglia said, Vergari was told he was being evicted from the town-owned country club on Oct. 16 and given 15 days to vacate the event hall. On Oct. 22, the town received a letter from Anderocci saying that Vergari would be leaving the premises by 3 p.m.

"We showed up to meet him [to get] the keys, and he had abandoned the property," Birbiglia said. "It appears that some of his employees were unaware of his abandonment."

Food and personal items were left at the office, she said. On Tuesday, the town changed the locks, and Birbiglia said they have hired Trio Restaurant, a catering company from the Holbrook Country Club, to handle events scheduled at the Brentwood Country Club -- some as soon as this weekend.

Birbiglia said several clients are worried they've lost their deposits. "People are calling . . . we're asking them to call constituent services," she said.

A request for proposals to find a new vendor will be announced next month.

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