Former employees of New Rochelle Hyundai allegedly used their positions as insiders to steal $700,000 from a bank and $500,000 from the dealership.
James Castellano, 52, who was the office manager, and Israel Viloria, 39, who was the used car manager, have been accused of grand larceny and a scheme to defraud, according to a press release from Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr. Castellano was also accused of tax fraud and falsifying business records.
The details resemble charges made in a 2018 lawsuit filed by an insurance company, but in that case the dealership’s controller, office clerk and DMV clerk also were implicated.
The alleged criminal scheme ran from September 2016 to July 2017. Castellano and Viloria allegedly sold vehicles owned by New Rochelle Hyundai and pocketed the proceeds. The sales were made through Global Auto Sales, a dealership owned in part by Viloria.
They disguised the scheme, according to the press release, by listing vehicles that New Rochelle Hyundai did not own in the dealership’s records, thus enabling JPMorgan Chase to make funds available to buy the vehicles.
“The cash flow into New Rochelle Hyundai accounts,” the press release states, “helped cover up the actual theft of vehicles which Viloria and Castellano were selling on the side.”
The district attorney also accused Castellano of depositing about $300,000 in his personal bank account in checks that were payable to the dealership. He also was charged with failing to pay taxes on the money.
The insurance lawsuit covers the period from September 2016 to June 2017.
Two years ago, the dealership submitted a $155,346 insurance claim for employee theft caused by five employees. Federal Insurance Co. of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, reimbursed the dealership for $101,000.
Federal Insurance then sued the former employees in Westchester Supreme Court to get the money back.
The lawsuit identifies Viloria as Israel Viloria-Martinez of New Rochelle. The other defendants are Castellano, of Valley Stream; Monique Nicole Williams, the office clerk from New York City, Leonard Flocco, the controller from Patterson, and Viviana Bayas, the DMV clerk from East Elmhurst.
Federal claims that the insiders used their positions with the dealership to buy vehicles using funds from New Rochelle Hyundai, sold the vehicles and kept the proceeds.
The court docket lists no responses from the former employees and no resolution of the case.