By Ivan Pereira
While a widow traveled overseas to bury her husband and son who died while working in a toxic sewer site in Jamaica last year, one of her spouse’s employees stole the family business from right underneath her, the Queens district attorney said.
Ygal Lalush, 42, of 69th Avenue in Flushing, was arraigned last Thursday on several charges including grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, forgery and falsifying business records, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Lalush was asked by Sara Dahan to temporarily run S. Dahan Piping and Heating Co. in her place after her husband, Shlomo Dahan, and son, Haral, were killed during a June 30, 2009, job and were sent to Israel for burial, according to the DA.
The employee immediately took $30,000 from the widow and made himself the head of the company without her consent, Brown said.
“A once-trusted employee, the defendant is accused of taking advantage of a woman — engulfed in the traumatic and unexpected grief of having lost both a husband and son in one afternoon — to steal the business she helped to found and which was her husband’s legacy to her and their surviving children,” he said in a statement. “The defendant’s alleged theft is a shameful betrayal of the faith that his employers placed in him.”
Lalush’s attorney did not return calls for comment.
The Dahans were cleaning a sewer pipe at a waste services center at 172-08 Douglas Ave. when they were killed instantly by the toxic fumes in the sewer. Rene Francisco Rivas, who worked for Royal Waste Services, the company that was running the center, was also killed by the fumes.
Lalush managed business expenses for the South Ozone Park business and Sara Dahan gave him several blank checks, the DA said. He allegedly completed the checks and negotiated them for his benefit, reaping in $30,000 at a loss for the company, according to Brown.
Lalush also changed the locks of the business and stole four company trucks by forging the widow’s signature and transferring the title for the trucks to his name, Brown said. He allegedly changed the company business address to his home address to have business-related mail and payments sent to him instead of Dahan, according to the DA.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.