Police Say Nephew Stole Croton Country Garden Funds

The nephew of a Croton garden supply store owner is accused of stealing about $140,000 over the past two years from the business.

The Westchester District Attorney's Office says Anthony Congello Jr., 26, was asked to help with the books in return for parking his construction company vehicles at Croton Country Garden on the Old Albany Post Road. 

Police allege that he used that position to siphon off money in various ways: He used the store credit card at Atlantic City casino ATMs, paid off a loan from the store's bank account, forged his uncle's name to cash checks and make withdrawals from the store's bank account, and charged his own business costs to the store.

Here's the full text of the press release:

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox announced today that joint investigation by the Croton-on-Hudson Police, Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, resulted in the arrest and charging of Anthony Congello, Jr. (DOB 02/15/88) of 10 Pennyfield Avenue, Bronx, New York. 

The defendant was arraigned on a Felony Complaint that charged him with:
• one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony,
• two counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, class “D” Felonies,
• two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, class “D” Felonies,
• one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony in New York State Tax Law.

The defendant is the nephew of the owner of Croton Country Gardens, a garden supply store in Croton. The defendant was helping his uncle keep an eye on the finances for the store and, in return, his uncle allowed the defendant to keep equipment from the defendant’s own landscaping business: Anthony's Landscape and Construction, at the store. 

Between August 27, 2012 through January 8, 2014, the defendant began to steal from Croton Country Gardens. 

He initiated an automated bank draft from the store’s account to pay a loan.

He cashed checks from the store’s account with his uncle’s forged signature on them. 

He made counter cash withdrawals using withdrawal slips with his uncle’s forged 
signature on them and he made unauthorized ATM withdraws using the store’s credit card at various Atlantic City casinos. 

He charged large sums onto the store’s credit card to benefit his own business.

The approximate amount of the larceny is $140,658.

In addition to the above, the defendant failed to file his New York State personal income taxes for tax year 2012.

The defendant was arrested by the Croton-on-Hudson police.

His next court date will be on May 7th, 2014.

He faces a maximum sentence of fifteen years in state prison. 

Assistant District Attorney Robert Mayes of the Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case.
Sage on the Hudson May 09, 2014 at 12:19 PM
"Police allege that he used that position to syphon off money in various ways..." SIPHON, Lanning, NOT "syphon."
Lanning Taliaferro May 10, 2014 at 05:40 PM
oh gee, thanks, I KNEW it looked wrong!


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