Scott Yandrasevich, who worked for the city-owned property for 11 years, had been accused of stealing $342,120 from the club over 5 ½ years by collecting money through a shell business. He will likely be sentenced to one year in prison.
Scott Yandrasevich, the former General manager of the Rye (N.Y.) Golf Club, pleaded guilty November 6 to grand larceny and falsifying records while working for the city-owned club, the Westchester (N.Y.)-based Journal News reported.
Yandrasevich, 50, is expected to be sentenced sometime next year to serve one year in the county jail if he pays $271,120 in restitution to Rye by his sentencing. If he cannot pay back the money in time, he will still owe it, but will also face a stiffer sentence of one to three years in state prison, according to the terms of the plea deal, the News reported.
“When faced with the potential consequences of going to trial, Mr. Yandrasevich decided to resolve the case,” his lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, said in a statement after the plea. “Mr. Yandrasevich gave his heart and soul to Rye Golf Club while he was General Manager, and his tireless, outstanding, innovative work there brought the club to a standard it had never reached before. He is glad to put this episode behind him.”
Yandrasevich had faced a sentence of up to 15 years in prison if he had been convicted at trial, the News reported.
“Through our own investigation, we knew he was guilty of stealing from the city and now he’s finally admitted to it,” Mayor Joe Sack said. The mayor said the restitution was welcome, but that “it was only a portion of what he stole.”
The city has filed a $2 million claim with its insurance company, which would include reimbursement for the city’s costs in investigating the matter, the News reported.
“We’re going to pursue that with renewed vigor at this point based on this latest development,” Sack said. He did not rule out suing Yandrasevich for more money, saying that if the insurance company didn’t pay, “we will pursue all of our legal options.”
Yandrasevich ultimately could serve less than a year in jail if he behaves well in custody. His sentencing date was tentatively set for April 9 but could be delayed as late as August to give him time to make the restitution. Yandrasevich made no comment, the News reported.
He had been accused of stealing about $342,120 from the club over 5 ½ years by collecting money through a shell business called RM Staffing for services that were never provided. He worked at the club 11 years, resigning in January 2013, a month before the Rye City Council released a report detailing the fake businesses, phantom employees and phony invoices, the News reported.
Yandrasevich had faced a charge of second-degree grand larceny and 10 counts of first-degree falsifying business records. He pleaded guilty under the agreement to one count of third-degree larceny and two of the counts of falsifying records, the News reported.
Scott Pickup, who was Rye city manager at the time the fraud was revealed, also lost his job in the wake of the scandal. Pickup was never charged with a crime, but Sack said at the time that the golf club scandal played a role in Pickup’s departure. The former manager had been criticized for signing off on the phony invoices, the News reported.
Suzanne Madeo, who was the owner of RM Staffing, said Thursday she was glad to see Yandrasevich’s guilty plea but wished he faced more jail time. She said she set the company up at the suggestion of Yandrasevich, a business acquaintance turned friend, and that he stole the money through the company without her knowledge, the News reported.
A graphic designer, Madeo said she lost clients because of the bad publicity and has been left in personal bankruptcy. She says she gets calls from collection agents daily and owes $100,000 to $200,000, which she does not know how to pay off, the News reported.
“The past two and a half years have been hell,” she said. “People have no clue what happened on the other end. I still am in this whirlpool and I don’t know what to do next.”