A former Lynbrook paralegal, who resides in Las Vegas, was sentenced on Oct. 4 to two to six years in prison and restitution fees of more than $456,000 for embezzling more than $900,000 from a Lynbrook-based construction company, according to District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Linda Minervi, 54, was employed as a paralegal for Sorbara Construction Corp. in Lynbrook. She was responsible for settling liability construction claims under $10,000 and sent the claimants their settlement checks. But, according to Singas, between October 2009 and November 2015, she embezzled $913,315.89 from the company. To do so, she created checks to pay for claims that did not exist. The owner of the construction company, who did not know that they were fraudulent, then signed the checks.
In the beginning of the scheme, Minervi made the checks out to her husband, Thomas Cacaci Jr., who would then cash the checks or deposit them into an account for New York Emergency & First Response Inc., a company that the couple founded in 2010. Both defendants had access to the account.
The couple used the money to purchase a time-share and to fund household furnishings, automobiles, airline tickets, hotel lodging and other daily living expenses.
Their fraud was discovered in November 2015 when the construction company’s office manager became suspicious. He noticed that the amount of checks generated was substantially larger than the amount the company discussed with the claimants. Minervi was then fired.
The couple moved to Las Vegas, and both were arrested by Las Vegas police on Dec. 9. They plead guilty to grand larceny on June 6. Cacaci Jr., 38, was sentenced on Aug. 2 to pay more than $456,000 in restitution fees, of which $71,000 has already been paid off.
“This prosecution should send a strong message that those who steal from Nassau businesses will face serious consequences,” Singas said.