The former comptroller of a pair of prominent Hudson Valley companies is going to spend some time behind bars after stealing millions of dollars from his employer to fund gambling and a lush lifestyle.
Mark Cina, the former comptroller of two Poughkeepsie companies, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for mail fraud and tax evasion in White Plains Federal Court. He pleaded guilty to the charges in April. Cina, 56, must also pay $3,385,665 in restitution and forfeit a total of $2,254,820.
In 2008, Cina was hired by an entrepreneur to act as a part-time bookkeeper for his company. Two years later, Cina became the full-time comptroller for two companies owned by the entrepreneur. As comptroller, Cine was responsible for day-to-day financial operations of the two companies.
While employed as comptroller, Cina had authority to sign checks for the companies and to carry and use the companies’ credit and ATM cards. Cina remained in that position until August 2015, when he was fired.
In September 2015, the entrepreneur reported to state police in Dutchess County that a former employee had stolen company funds. State Police launched an investigation, which was later joined by federal law enforcement officers. The investigation led them to Cina, who defrauded the companies out of millions of dollars over the course of seven years.
According to Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Cina stole the money by using the companies’ money for himself to gamble, pay his rent, drive rental cars, dine out, get his car washed, bail out an arrestee, and, in one instance, pay a phone charge for an inmate’s call.
From 2009 through 2015, Cina purchased items that include:
- Payments to a mini-mart (approximately $457,000);
- Payments to a gas station (approximately $180,000);
- Payment of Cina's rent (approximately $25,000);
- Payment of Cina's personal credit card bills (approximately $125,000);
- Checks payable to Cina's (non-payroll) (approximately $599,000);
- Checks payable to cash (approximately $282,000);
- Cash withdrawals (approximately $825,000), and;
- Additional unauthorized charges (including charges to pharmacies, medical and dental facilities, a rental car company, a car wash facility, an inmate phone service, and for purported loans from family members of Cina).
“Mark Cina embezzled millions of dollars to line his pockets at the great expense and suffering of his trusting employer, a Hudson Valley entrepreneur and small businessman,” Berman said. “Theft like the defendant’s is intolerable, and today’s sentencing shows that an employee’s choice to engage in such a crime is a choice to go to prison.”
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