Judge orders arrest warrant after accountant accused of stealing $1.1 million is a no-show in court
Posted at: 06/08/2012 11:16 AM
| Updated at: 06/08/2012 7:13 PM
By: Berkeley Brean | WHEC.com
The accountant accused of embezzling more than a million from the recycling company he worked for was a no-show in court today. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Gary Yakawiak is charged with grand larceny. He was supposed to be arraigned on the grand jury indictment this morning.
When he didn't show up for the second straight day, Judge Vince DiNolfo issued a warrant for his arrest.
The District Attorney's office says Yakawiak stole $1.1 million dollars from Cascades Recovery Incorporated, a recycling company contracted by Monroe County to run the operations at the county's recycling recovery plant. (There's no suggestion the missing money was taken from County funds)
Here is the original I-Team 10 Investigation report
For four years, police say an Irondequoit man was embezzling from his employer to the tune of $1.1-million. I-Team 10 has learned a grand jury has now returned an indictment against Gary Yakawiak.
Cascades Recovery Incorporated is a recycling company. Their slogan is, "When you're done with it, we want it back." But they might also be saying that to their former accounting manager who stands accused of stealing more than a million dollars in company funds.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Gary Yakawiak of Irondequoit may be wishing that were really true. That's because he racked up huge expenses in the sin city and elsewhere using funds authorities say he stole from his employer.
Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Mark Monaghan said, "He's been charged with grand larceny in the first degree, having allegedly stolen more than a million dollars between approximately August 2007 and February 2011."
Yakawiak worked as accounting manager for Cascades Recovery Incorporated, a company that handles Monroe County's recycling.
The County leases its resource recovery plant to Cascades and contracts with it to run the operation but there's no suggestion the missing money was taken from County funds.
So how did he manage to spend a million dollars? In a written confession obtained by I-Team 10, Yakawiak offered up a laundry list of his transactions -- so many we put together a spreadsheet to tally them all.
There were several airline tickets for him and his girlfriends to Las Vegas, California and Hawaii and stays at upscale casino hotels like the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Turning Stone and the Spa at Niagara Falls. There are limo services, restaurants and gifts of jewelry and lingerie.
He also writes that he paid for tattoos, veterinarian bills and several thousands of dollars in lease payments for a bar he had partnered in. But the biggest chunk of money went toward wire transfers to girlfriends out west and other associates.
In his statement to police, Yakawiak says he would use the company's money with the intent of paying back, but admits he got behind. Of the $1.1 million he acknowledges taking, he estimates he's repaid about $70,000.
Authorities say he was able to conceal the embezzlement by creating fake bank statements until his employer took a closer look at the books. Monaghan said, "They did an internal audit and they brought it to another auditor to check their work and that was brought to law enforcement."
I-Team 10 went to Yakawiak's home, hoping to speak with him, but no one answered. He will be arraigned on the charges next week.
Attempts to reach the general manager of Cascades Recovery were not successful.
Yakawiak acknowledged in his statement to making more than $70,000 in wire transfers to one of his now former girlfriends, Blanca Vigil. She lives out in Las Vegas.
She says they met on one of Yakawiak's jaunts to Las Vegas and they dated briefly. When I-Team 10 asked why he was wiring her all that money she just said he was a generous guy. Vigil says she did know about where he worked, but she claims she had no idea the money was allegedly stolen.
Vigil says she was unaware of these charges until I-Team 10 called and has not been contacted by police about the case.