By LIZ BUTTON
Former Rye Golf Club manager Scott Yandrasevich, who allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from club members, is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 6 to set a trial date.
Yandrasevich, 49, was arraigned on an indictment of 11 felony counts in county court on May 9, and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
According to Westchester District Attorney’s office spokesman Lucian Chalfen, Yandrasevich could plead guilty at his August court date—which is known as a “determination of readiness for trial”—or he can announce his intention to go to trial.
“He would be assigned a new judge and given a new court date with that new judge,” Chalfen said. Currently, county court Judge Susan Cacace oversees the case.
A Westchester County grand jury indicted the former club manager on 10 new felony counts of falsifying business records, which were added to the one felony charge of second-degree grand larceny filed against him in Rye City Court last November for allegedly stealing $271,120 in member dues through shell staffing companies.
Attorney Kerry Lawrence of White Plains-based firm Calhoun and Lawrence said his client maintains his innocence of all charges and is sticking to his earlier statement that the case will go to trial. This, he said, has been the plan ever since Yandrasevich was arrested on Nov. 19, 2013.
“We’re looking forward to proving his innocence in court,” Lawrence said.
The DA’s office, represented by Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway, presented its case to a Westchester County grand jury in mid-April. Yandrasevich met with the DA in White Plains for a preliminary conference on May 21. On that date, discussions “didn’t go anywhere,” Chalfen said, and the case was adjourned until August.
If convicted on the C felony larceny charge, Yandrasevich will face a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. The charges of falsifying business records, E felonies, carry a sentence of up to four years. If convicted, Yandrasevich may be able to serve his sentences concurrently.
Yandrasevich and the DA’s office could reach a plea agreement before Aug. 6, which would move his return to court earlier, Chalfen said.
There’s a very wide variety of possibilities that could be discussed in plea negotiations if they occur. For example, the judge may agree to shorten any potential prison sentence on the condition Yandrasevich pay the money owed upfront.
According to the DA’s investigation, which has been ongoing since November 2013, Yandrasevich stole approximately $342,120 in member dues between April 2007 and Aug. 20, 2013, by submitting false invoices for fictitious club employees using a shell staffing company he created called RM Staffing and Events, Inc.
Allegations of financial fraud against the former general manager surfaced in October 2012, leading the City of Rye to hire Brune and Richard, a New York City-based investigative law firm, which released a report in February 2013 implicating Yandrasevich.
The city forwarded the report to the district attorney’s office.