WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — The Director of Accounting and Human Resources for a kitchen remodeling firm with outlets in Mamaroneck, Bedford and Greenwich was charged in federal court with embezzlement and identity theft.
According to an indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court, Susana Rivera was hired as the Director of Accounting and Human Resources at Bilotta Kitchens, a family-owned kitchen design and remodeling business in Mamaroneck, Bedford and Greenwich. Starting in November 2019, she made hundreds of unauthorized charges in a total amount exceeding $175,000 to the company’s credit cards for personal expenses, including jewelry, beauty treatments, laser treatments, travel, pets, cosmetic surgery, clothing and cars, including a partial payment on a $100,000 Corvette, prosecutors said.
Rivera is accused of defrauding the firm’s payroll company to make unauthorized payments in a net amount of more than $370,000 to a fake vendor that she created to receive the money. Rivera is also accused of causing unauthorized transfers from the victim company’s bank account in an amount exceeding $2,900 to pay her personal utility bills.
To get restrictions on the use of the victim company’s credit cards removed, prosecutors said Rivera posed as an owner of the victim company in telephone calls with the company’s credit card provider. She is also believed to have sent the credit card company photographs of the owner’s driver’s license to cause credit card company personnel to believe she was the owner.
“No more than one month after joining the company she allegedly defrauded, Susana Rivera started down a path of embezzlement that would eventually result in more than half a million dollars in losses to her victim,” FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll said in a statement announcing the indictment. “Spending this money on a variety of luxury and personal items, she jumped headfirst into this scheme with seemingly no signs of slowing down—until we showed up to levy the charge. Financial fraud schemes wreak havoc on private businesses and the economy alike. Any attempt to defraud a victim in this way will most certainly be met with consequences in our justice system.”
Rivera is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The 40-year-old Bronx woman is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison.
“Susana Rivera abused the trust her employer placed in her by stealing more than $500,000 in hundreds of individual thefts over 22 months,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “She stole and used her employer’s identity to further her scheme. She will now be held accountable for her thefts.”