Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced on Jan. 16 the sentencing of a Rockville Centre man who stole more than $429,000 in company funds to enrich his lifestyle at the expense of his employers and his fellow employees.
Christopher Cortese, 57, pleaded guilty as charged in October 2013 to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. On Jan. 16, Judge Philip Grella of Nassau County Court sentenced Cortese to 1-1/2 to 4-1/2 years in prison, and restitution by civil judgment in the amount of $429,555.84.
“Though Mr. Cortese stole almost half a million dollars from a business, this is no victimless crime,” Rice said. “By committing these acts, Mr. Cortese hurt innocent colleagues of the company he defrauded and violated the trust all employers put in their employees. My office will continue to prosecute crimes wherever they may occur — be they in the boardroom, or out on the street.”
Rice said that Cortese was employed by Kainos Partners Holding Company, LLC, a corporation that has owned and operated over 50 Dunkin Donuts franchises, as its chief financial officer since May 2005. Kainos began investigating Cortese in January 2009 after discovering a number of financial irregularities, including $53,500 for a home office, $60,000 in gift cards, and more than $100,000 in trips, meals, and other expenses.
In addition, Cortese hired two girlfriends as consultants, funneling $109,060 to one woman for information technology services that were never performed. Cortese also used company funds to pay for the first car lease payment for a Mercedes Benz for the woman and secured company health and dental benefits for her, despite her not being a company employee. Another girlfriend received $20,000 for services never performed. Cortese was terminated by Kainos on Feb. 4, 2009.