A mother and son lived like a queen and prince for years — yachting, jetting, and cruising in a $127,000 Mercedes — while the mom plundered $16 million from two SoHo textile companies where she worked as bookkeeper, prosecutors said today.
News of the bizarre case was revealed as Judy and Joseph Del Galdo pleaded not guilty in sad-sounding, quiet voices today before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, who ordered them held without bail.
The mother, who lived in Sayreville, NJ, embezzled from her employers at Hi-Fashion Fabrics, Inc. and Timeless Treasures Fabrics, Inc., for 22 years, DA Cyrus Vance said in announcing the pair’s indictment on grand larceny and money laundering.
The 66-year-old mother spent the last seven years forging the companies’ president’s signature on hundreds of checks that were deposited into a bank account in the name of a dummy company called “Tea-Rific Beverage, Inc., the DA said.
The son, who lives in Buford, GA, is the sole signatory on the account, according to the indictment.
The loot allegedly funded the son’s ambulance company and the pair’s Tea-Rific lifestyle — including three homes, the Mercedes, and a $55,000 Infiniti QX56.
Del Galdo defense lawyer Richard Portale said the indictment totally blindsided the pair, who’d already paid back as much as they can.
Prosecutors say the two textile companies — which are owned by the same family — had so trusted their longterm bookkeeper that they only discovered the embezzlements after the her retirement in April, 2010.
“We gave them everything — cars, houses, memorabilia, jewelry, money, the proceeds from the ambulance company,” said Portale.
The mom suffers “a severe neck condition,” and is isn’t getting her Xanax, the lawyer told the judge, in asking that jail officials be alerted to her medical conditions.
“They were shocked,” he told the Post of the arrests, which he said followed close to a year of negotiations with the family that owns both textile companies.
Among the expenditures allegedly traced by the DA’s financial investigators were:
— $500,000 in flights on private jets
–$458,000 in other tavel and hotel expensive
–$368,000 in payments toward a million dollar yacht
–$564,000 in credit card payments
–$330,000 in payments for luxury suites and sponsorships at Madison Square Garden and the Meadowlands Sports Complex
–$166,000 in home theater purchases
–$42,000 in custom tailored suits
–$54,000 in Apple and iTunes purchases
–$62,000 in private school tuition
–$493,000 in cash withdrawals
–$889,000 in mortgage and related payments on three different properties — all now in foreclosure. [NY Post]