Former President of Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market Charged with Stealing $7.8 Million from His Employer
PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Caesar DiCrecchio, 60, of Voorhees, NJ, was charged by Information with two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy, one count of aggravated identity theft, and four counts of tax evasion, all of which allegedly caused more than $7.8 million in losses to the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market in South Philadelphia. Separately, Thomas Del Borrello, 42 of Sewell, NJ, was also charged by Information with eight counts of aggravated false filing of a currency transaction report and one count of aggravated failure to file a currency transaction report.
The Information alleges that DiCrecchio, the former President and CEO of the Produce Market, exercised control over every aspect of the Market, including expenditure of funds, and was required to report on the Market’s finances to its Board of Directors. The defendant defrauded the Market by using company funds to pay $1.9 million in rent on his Stone Harbor, New Jersey shore house; converting into cash $1.1 million in checks drawn on the Market’s bank account and using the cash for his own benefit; causing $1.7 million in checks to be issued from the Market operating account payable to his friends or relatives; causing the Market to pay for the defendant’s personal credit card expenditures; converting $320,000 in checks that were payable to the Market and cashing them for his own benefit; skimming $2.6 million in cash from the pay gate at the Market’s parking lot, which he used to pay Market employees ‘under the table’ while keeping a substantial portion for his own use; and using Market funds to provide a $180,000 loan to a Market vendor, which the vendor repaid directly to DiCrecchio. The defendant concealed these expenditures in the Market’s books and records by directing that these payments be reflected as legitimate business expenditures, for example: notated as maintenance, snow removal, insurance, legal fees and other false expenditure entries.
The Information also alleges that DiCrecchio committed aggravated identity theft by cashing checks at a currency exchange using the name of an unwitting victim as the payee. Further, it is also alleged that the defendant conspired to engage in money laundering by agreeing with two unnamed individuals to conduct repeated money laundering transactions by converting Market funds into money orders at a currency exchange so that he could pay the rent at his shore house. In total, DiCrecchio laundered approximately $319,736 by purchasing money orders at the currency exchange using Market funds.
According to the second Information, Del Borrello was a supervisor at United Check Cashing on South Broad Street in Philadelphia and was responsible for compliance with regulations governing cash transactions, including the preparation and filing of Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs). DiCrecchio regularly caused groups of checks to be delivered to, and cashed at, United Check Cashing. These checks were each made out for less than $10,000, but when cashed as a group generated in excess of $10,000 in United States currency. For these cash transactions in excess of $10,000, regulations require the currency exchange to file a CTR, recording the identity of the person who presented the transaction. Del Borrello allegedly caused the filing of false CTRs which hid DiCrecchio’s identity, or caused United Check Cashing to fail to file a CTR altogether. On some occasions, DiCrecchio directed Del Borrello, or others at United Check Cashing, to convert the proceeds of the checks into separate money orders which were used to pay the monthly rent for DiCrecchio’s Stone Harbor house.
Lastly, the Information alleges that DiCrecchio willfully attempted to evade federal income tax over several years, by failing to report more than $2.1 million in income for tax years 2014 through 2017. DiCrecchio failed to report as income the proceeds of his fraud on the Market, as well as a car allowance, a pension allowance, and consulting income that he received from the Market.
“Complexity will not hide crime from law enforcement,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Further, and as alleged here, ‘nickel and dime’ theft – skimming small amounts here and there over many years – is just as illegal as stealing one large lump sum. The charges announced today reflect our Office’s commitment to uncovering and prosecuting complicated financial frauds.”
“Caesar DiCrecchio stands charged with a massive theft from the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Stealing business funds for personal use is fraud, plain and simple, and anyone padding their paycheck like this can expect a whole lot of attention from the FBI.”
“Willfully evading one’s tax liability is a violation of federal tax law,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso. “Mr. DiCrecchio stands accused of evading taxes on millions of dollars’ worth of income, while Mr. Del Borrello is alleged to have, among other things, caused the filing of false CTRs which hid Mr. DiCrecchio’s identity and permitted his fraud to continue. Rest assured that IRS Special Agents are fully trained to investigate numerous types of tax and related financial crimes, and are constantly working to uncover crimes such as those charged in these cases.”
“This investigation is a perfect example of a collaborative effort between state and federal agencies,” said Sgt. Brandon Corby, Commander, Eastern Organized Crime Task Force, Pennsylvania State Police. “DiCrecchio and Del Borrello utilized their positions to further their personal wealth and defraud the Wholesale Produce Market of millions of dollars. The Pennsylvania State Police along with our federal partners are committed to eradicating this type of criminal behavior and hold those engaged in such activities accountable for their actions.”
DiCrecchio faces a maximum sentence of 102 years in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, and a fine of $2,500,000. Del Borrello faces a maximum sentence of 90 years in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, and a fine of $4,500,000.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Organized Crime Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the Pennsylvania State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael T. Donovan.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.