FORMER ACCOUNTANT FOR DEMO COMPANY CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLEMENT FOR CREATING FAKE EMPLOYEES, PUTTING THEM ON THE PAYROLL AND CASHING CHECKS FOR NEARLY $2 MILLION
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Vedeyah Badal, 56, has been charged with grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from her employer for a third of the 22 years she worked at an interior and exterior demolition company in Maspeth, Queens. Between 2012 and 2019, the defendant in her role as the company’s accountant is accused of creating fake employees in order to cash their checks and pocket the funds for herself.
District Attorney Katz said, “Allegedly skimming money by the millions, this trusted employee found an unusual way to pad her bank account. Working as an accountant, the defendant is accused of creating fake employees and adding them to the payroll. When the checks were cut, she was the alleged recipient depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into her personal bank accounts. This complicated con was uncovered and she is now facing serious charges.”
Badal, of Ridgewood Avenue, Brooklyn, was arraigned today before Criminal Court Judge Danielle Hartman on a 3-count criminal complaint charging her with grand larceny in the first degree, money laundering in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree. Justice Hartman set the defendant’s return date for June 7, 2021. The defendant faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
According to the charges, Badal worked for Titan Industrial Services Inc. for 22 years. She was the company’s in-house accountant and had access and virtually unlimited control over the business’s finances throughout her tenure at the interior/exterior demolition company. In 2019, Badal left the company. It was at that point, someone discovered three employees who existed in name only and that these three fictitious workers were getting paid weekly.
Continuing, according to the complaint, the company owners conducted a forensic audit and found a total of 13 phantom employees created between 2012 and 2019. The fake workers had bogus Social Security Numbers and were even having federal, state and local taxes withheld from the paychecks.
DA Katz said the audit showed several alleged instances of hundreds of checks written and deposited to benefit the defendant. Between June 2015 and March 2019, there were 289 checks written against the business’s M & T Bank account. Those checks were allegedly deposited into the defendant’s Chase Bank account. The 289 checks totaled $630,132.
Between May 2014 and March 2019, the DA continued, 269 checks were drawn from the business’s bank account with $596,326 cashed and allegedly deposited into Badal’s Citibank account. And from December 2015 through March 2019, the defendant allegedly cashed 132 checks at a local check cashing business for a total $295,127.
The DA added that in all the defendant allegedly embezzled $2 million her employer. The company lost another $1 million paying taxes, Social Security contributions and disability and Medicare from the fake employees checks.
The investigation was conducted by Detective David Haynes, of the Queens District Attorney’s Detective Bureau, under the supervision of Sergeant Edwin Driscoll, Lieutenant John Kenna, Deputy Chief Daniel O’Brien, and under the overall supervision of Chief Edwin Murphy.
Also assisting in the investigation was Investigative Accountant Vivian Tunnicliff, of the District Attorney’s Forensic Accounting Unit within the Investigations Division, under the supervision of Director Joseph D. Plonski.
District Attorney Katz would like to thank the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General for their assistance with this case.
Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Kramer-Eisenbud and Senior Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Sullivan, of the DA’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau, are prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Mary Lowenburg, Bureau Chief, Catherine Kane and Jonathan Scharf, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.