A 47-year-old Pleasantville man was arrested Thursday for allegedly pocketing the money sent to him by his business clients to pay their state and federal government withholding taxes and unemployment insurance premiums.
Stefan Malagrinos, owner of the Hawthorne-based Manos Business Management, was arraigned in Pleasantville Village Court and charged with six felony counts – two counts each of second- and third-degree grand larceny and one count each of first-degree falsifying business records and first-degree scheme to defraud.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and had his bail set at $5,000 cash over $5,000 bond.
Malagrinos is accused of collecting payments in full from business clients, then failing to remit the entire amount, according to the Westchester County district attorney’s office. He is believed to have stolen well over $100,000 for his personal use without his clients’ knowledge or permission.
The alleged thefts occurred over a roughly three-year-period. Starting in 2012, Malagrinos received more than $35,000 from the CT/NY Lighting Co. of Stamford, Conn. and represented to the company’s bookkeeper that the funds were remitted to the Internal Revenue Service for that year’s third quarter taxes, the district attorney’s office said.
While the return was filed with the IRS on behalf of CT/NY Lighting on Oct. 31, 2012, Malagrinos failed to include payment, according to authorities.
The suspect also received more than $150,000 from Mid Bronx Haulage Corp. to pay the 2013 fourth quarter and 2014 first and fourth quarter taxes, according to law enforcement authorities. Malagrinos provided the company’s office manager a copy of the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return for the 2013 fourth quarter payment, which reflected a zero balance, and led the firm’s representatives to believe that the tax had been paid, the district attorney’s office stated.
To further prove he had made the payment, Malagrinos presented a copy of the check he had supposedly remitted to the IRS to company representatives, but it was never sent. The money was later redeposited into Malagrinos’ personal account, authorities stated.
In 2015, Malagrinos received about $22,000 from Gordo’s restaurant in Hawthorne to send to the IRS, but paid only $2,820.45 and kept the rest to use for his mortgage and other personal expenses.
Law enforcement authorities also alleged that Malagrinos received more than $107,000 from Blueline Tactical Supply & Shooting Sports in Elmsford to satisfy its tax obligation. However, he remitted only $17,690.48 and used the remaining $89,532.84 without permission or authority.
Malagrinos is due to return to court on Oct. 24. He faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted.