By LIZ BUTTON
The Westchester District Attorney’s Office is preparing to go before the grand jury to present its second-degree grand larceny case against former Rye Golf Club Manager Scott Yandrasevich, according to the DA’s spokesperson Lucian Chalfen.
Yandrasevich, 49, was arraigned at Rye City Court on Nov. 19, 2013, after turning himself in to the DA and has since rejected the district attorney’s offer to negotiate a plea deal related to the charges.
The district attorney’s office must present a case in front of the grand jury within six months from the date of a defendant’s arraignment, according to Chalfen.
According to the C felony charges filed by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, Yandrasevich allegedly stole $271,120 in member dues from Rye Golf Club over a period of four-and-a-half years by submitting fraudulent purchase orders to the city through the shell company RM Staffing.
The city is currently working through its insurance carrier for the return of club members’ funds that were allegedly appropriated by Yandrasevich, who was hired by the city in 2002 and resigned from the club in January 2013. As the investigation by the district attorney’s office continues, the amount deemed stolen could increase.
Yandrasevich’s attorney, Kerry Lawrence, said at his client’s most recent appearance in Rye City Court on Jan. 7 that he was told the DA was working speedily toward presenting the case to the grand jury and would do so within the statutory period of six months from arraignment, as required. Lawrence went on to argue his client would like to avoid making court appearances every few weeks, as he has been, because it costs money, time and effort.
But Rye City Judge Joseph Latwin said he would like Yandrasevich to keep coming back as a way to “hold the people’s feet to the fire,” in hopes of motivating the DA to move the case along.
The judge eventually agreed to grant Yandrasevich a longer leash time-wise between court dates, settling on March 18.
Allegations of financial fraud against Yandrasevich came to light in October 2012, when members noticed some suspicious accounting and suspected a connection with the city-owned club’s significant financial losses over the years.
The city then hired law firm Brune & Richard to investigate the club. After combing through Yandrasevich’s emails, finances and payroll records, the New York City-based firm released a damning report on Feb. 27, 2013, citing stolen funds in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which the City Council then forwarded to the DA.
As he waits for his next appearance in court, Yandrasevich, who faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison, has the option of testifying before the grand jury if the DA seeks an indictment.