A Brooklyn woman has been charged with embezzlement from a Maspeth company, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Vedeyah Badal, 56, of Ridgewood Avenue, has been charged with grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from her employer for a third of the 22 years she worked at an interior and exterior demolition firm.
Between 2012 and 2019, Badal in her role as the company’s accountant is accused of creating fake employees in order to cash their checks and pocket the funds for herself. Badal was arraigned before Criminal Court Judge Danielle Hartman on a three-count criminal complaint charging her with grand larceny in the first degree, money laundering in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree.
According to the charges, Badal worked at Titan Industrial Services Inc. for 22 years as the company’s in-house accountant and had access and virtually unlimited control over the business’s finances throughout her tenure. In 2019, Badal left the company. At that point, someone discovered three employees who existed in name only and that these fictitious workers were getting paid weekly.
According to the complaint, the company owners conducted a forensic audit and found a total of 13 phantom employees created between 2012 and 2019. The fake workers had bogus Social Security numbers and were even having federal, state and local taxes withheld from their paychecks.
In all, the DA added that in all the defendant allegedly embezzled $2 million from her employer. The company lost another $1 million paying taxes, Social Security contributions and disability and Medicare from the fake employees’ checks.
Katz said the audit showed several alleged instances of hundreds of checks written and deposited to benefit the defendant.
Between June 2015 and March 2019, there were 289 checks written against the business’s M&T Bank accounts. Those checks were allegedly deposited into Badal’s Chase Bank account. The 289 checks totaled $630,132.
Between May 2014 and March 2019, 269 checks were drawn from the business’s bank account with $596,326 cashed and allegedly deposited into Badal’s Citibank account. And from December 2015 through March 2019, the defendant allegedly cashed 132 checks at a local check cashing business for a total of $295,127.
“Allegedly skimming money by the millions, this trusted employee found an unusual way to pad her bank account,” Katz said. “Working as an accountant, the defendant is accused of creating fake employees and adding them to the payroll. When the checks were cut, she was the alleged recipient depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into her personal bank accounts. This complicated con was uncovered and she is now facing serious charges.”
Justice Hartman set Badal’s return date for June 7. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.