By LIZ BUTTON
Former Rye Golf Club general manager Scott Yandrasevich rejected the Westchester District Attorney’s offer to negotiate a plea deal related to charges of second-degree grand larceny at an appearance in Rye City Court Dec. 17.
More than a year since news of a far reaching, long running financial scandal at the city club rocked the community, Yandrasevich turned himself in on Nov. 19 to the Westchester County District Attorney’s office and was arraigned on charges in Rye City Court, where he was released on bail.
At his latest court date, Yandrasevich’s case was adjourned to Jan. 7 in city court pending a decision by the district attorney’s office on whether to present the case before a grand jury, at which point the case would be removed to county court.
Yandrasevich’s attorney, Kerry Lawrence, said his client looks forward to clearing his name in court.
“The DA’s office made an offer [of initiating proceedings for a plea agreement], and we indicated that we have no intention of pleading guilty to anything,” Lawrence said.
According to district attorney’s office spokesman Lucian Chalfen, when it comes to a felony charge tried in a local court in Westchester, a defendant is given the option to sign paperwork saying the parties involved are endeavoring to work out some kind of plea agreement; Yandrasevich rejected this option, Chalfen said.
“If the defendant does not [sign the court paperwork that would begin any type of plea negotiation proceedings], and there are some people who do reject it, then it is understood that the district attorney has the option to present the case in front of a grand jury and have him indicted,” Chalfen said.
Yandrasevich, who faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison if convicted, has the option of testifying before the grand jury if the DA seeks an indictment.
According to the C felony charges filed by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, the 49-year-old Yandrasevich, who the city hired in 2002 as the golf club’s general manager, allegedly stole approximately $271,120 from the club between Jan. 21, 2008, and Aug. 16, 2012, by submitting doctored purchase orders to the city through the shell staffing company RM Staffing.
Yandrasevich, who the city paid an annual salary of more than $107,000, lived rent-free in a house on club grounds. He resigned from the club in January due to allegations that surfaced months prior.
The District attorney’s office is still investigating Yandrasevich’s alleged crimes, so the amount currently deemed stolen may increase.
The case will continue to return to Rye City Court until Yandrasevich, now a Danbury, Conn., resident, is indicted or he formally declares his intent to plead guilty, at which point the case will be transferred to county court in White Plains.