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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

A Jackson Heights couple has been indicted on a slew of charges for allegedly stealing nearly $3.7 million over eight years from the owner of a Brooklyn pharmacy where the husband worked.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said that Jorge Vergara, 43, and his wife, Vanhia Narvaez, 44, are accused of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business record and identity theft.

“These defendants allegedly committed a theft not only on a huge scale – amounting to almost $3.7 million over eight years – but also in a reprehensible manner, taking advantage of their seriously ill employers who had entrusted them with the family business,” Gonzalez said. “With today’s indictment, we plan to hold the defendants fully accountable for their shameful acts.”

Vergara and Narvaez were arraigned on one count of first-degree grand larceny, four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, four counts of first-degree falsifying business records and four counts of first-degree identity theft.

According to the indictment, in 2007, Vergara worked as the manager of Gardner’s Pharmacy in Williamsburg when the owner, Rafael Abreu, became ill and unable to run the business.

Shortly after Vergara took control of regular operations for the pharmacy, prosecutors said, he and Narvaez allegedly used the identity of Gardner’s Pharmacy and forged New York State Department of State documents to open four business checking accounts in the pharmacy’s name without Abreu’s consent.

The defendants then used these accounts to deposit 934 checks totaling $3,697,399.35 into their fraudulent accounts. The checks were payments from insurance companies for prescription medications customers bought at the pharmacy.

The defendants then used the stolen money for a wide variety of uses, including personal credit card payments, auto loans, school tuition, mortgages, domestic travel, and even a trip to Disney World.

Vergara also used some of the money to finance another pharmacy he opened on the same block as Gardner’s.

Abreu’s daughter became aware something was wrong after she began working at the pharmacy following Vergara’s resignation and she was receiving mail from banks she did not recognize.

The defendants were held on $2.5 million bail and ordered to return to court on Sept. 6, where they face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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Gabriela Isabel July 28, 2017 / 01:58AM
This is the stupidest comment I have ever read...yeah okay if they did something wrong is deportation the answer to it all... NOOO..guess what this is the U.S where deporting people and stripping people of their rights is not the answer..and about the tax money...OKAYYY wasted food stamps and college tax credits for people who aren't even going to college is also a waste...SOOO might as well deport everyone.. Get educated first and then go ahead and comment!!t .
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FlipoutNYC July 26, 2017 / 10:38PM
Wasting tax dollar money. Just strip their citizenship and deport them
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