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Former Oak Hills restaurateur accused of bilking Rye Golf Club

RYE, N.Y. – A report released Wednesday based on an investigation by the Rye City Council says Scott Yandrasevich, who was involved with a company that took over operation of the now-closed Terrace Grille restaurant at the Oak Hills Park golf course in July 2012, misappropriated funds and used two businesses to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Rye Golf Course.

The report was turned over to the Westchester County (N.Y.) District Attorney’s Office.

Yandrasevich was the manager of Rye Golf Course until October, when he was placed on leave after being accused of misappropriating money and having a conflict of interest with RM Staffing & Events of Rye, N.Y., a temporary-worker agency, and Studio Y, a small graphics design firm.

The report details Yandrasevich’s dealings with the two companies as well as with Oak Hills. It says Yandrasevich negotiated the deal for RM Staffing to take over the Oak Hills restaurant on a sublease, a negotiation started in January 2012. At the time, the report says, he was serving as the Rye Golf Club manager and running RM Staffing using full-time Rye Golf Club workers as staff.

The report, with information gathered during a forensic audit by Breen & Associates, hired Oct. 18 by the legal firm of Brune & Richard LLP, states that Yandrasevich used RM Staffing and Studio Y to falsely bill Rye Golf Club for services that were not delivered.

RM Staffing closed the restaurant at Oak Hills Park in November and continued catering operations well into January, according to a story in The Hour.

12 comments

Diane C2 February 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

And so NOW will someone, ANYONE, in Norwalk please investigate why Oak Hills Park Authority approved the sub-lease of the Oak Hills restaurant to RM Staffing despite my having brought concerns about the nature of that business to their attention?

Despite being assured by Mr. Virgulak and OHPA Attorney Avery that they were thoroughly vetting RM Staffing and doing their due diligence, I conducted my own amateur investigation. Their “due diligence” apparently turned up nothing suspicious, but my 30 minutes of googling led me to conclude that even the legal existence of an RM Staffing was questionable. And more so even when I discovered the location of the “so called” business was that of Studio Y, a graphics arts company owned by Ms. Ruggerio, one of the primary figures in the Rye investigation.

The now infamous “hang up” phone call when I tried to inquire as to the nature and experience of the business should have been enough of a red flag when I called on the Mayor, the Council and Mr. Hamilton in January to launch an investigation. The subsequent Rye investigation should have prompted some action…..maybe any future indictments from the Westchester County District Attorney will do the trick, before any more of the cast of characters closes up shop or leaves the country:

http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2012/10/rm-staffing-escapes-ryevacates-offices-no-forwarding-address-found-as-investigations-mount.html

Diane C2 February 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

@LWitherspoon – Good question – I’ve been told Quattro (Rolling Green) continued to pay the rent, but have not confirmed that – other expenses would have been time of staff and attorneys to pursue contract with new tenant once the RM staffing deal fell through – have not looked at line item costs associated with that, but certainly can if you’d like to see it.
Why do you ask? Perhaps you can shed some light on the Quattro/RM Staffing debacle if you are also doing research into the deal.

oldtimer February 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Can’t help wondering how much he took Oak Hills for, and how much of that he may have kicked back, and who got it.

Mike Mushak February 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Nancy, kudos to your article for shining a spotlight on this issue. Kudos to Diane C2 for catching this early on, and for asking city officials to investigate it. So much for your “spurious vitriol” that one notoriously arrogant and vitriolic Common Council member accused you of recently! Wonder if anything ever happened as a result of your request. Hopefully OHPA will learn a lesson from this.

One more reason for OHPA and city leaders to take a deep breath, sit back, and take a holistic visionary approach to solving the Oak Hills crisis, if that is possible at this point.

An increasingly popular 9- or 12- hole solution should be looked at seriously, reducing maintenance costs radically, reducing nitrogen and pesticide pollution in groundwater which drains to the Sound,lowering high user fees while increasing use since fewer golfers have the 5 hours to play a full 18 hole round anyway, re-opening the restaurant at 2 price points, or even installing a new low price pre-fab snack bar and perhaps turning the restaurant into a trendy farm-to-table facility with an onsite kitchen garden and chicken coops, installing a community garden for the hundreds of condo residents nearby within a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk(on Fillow, Richards, and North Taylor), freeing up acres of beautiful open space for low-maintenance natural wildflower meadows with bird watching with educational signs and year-round handicap accessible trails for bikers, walkers, and joggers, installing a sustainable leaf-composting facility which Norwalk needs as most other cities have now while Norwalk’s poor suckers are stuck in the last century paying huge amounts of taxpayer dollars trucking leaves to other towns (recommended in the 2008 Master Plan), and, dare I say it, maybe even a world class driving range without cutting down any trees!

Of course, all just suggestions depending on public feedback and scrutiny. Compromises by everyone for the greater good. Imagine that. Why is real vision more rare than a piping plover in Norwalk?

Suzanne March 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

Mike, Such a great vision. I appreciate how comprehensive and inclusive it is. Now, all we need is a Master Plan and, then, begin!

LWitherspoon March 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

@Diane C2
If as you say Quattro Pazzi continued to pay rent to the City, then the City lost no money on the sublease, and the loss was entirely Quattro Pazzi’s.

Diane C2 March 2, 2013 at 9:24 am

@Lwitherspoon: If the litmus test for the soundness of decisions is limited strictly to whether we lost money, and how much, then perhaps that is more pathetic then the OHPA’s lack of due diligence in the first place. We may not have been hit financially on this one, but that is probably due, as least in part, to the Rye Golf Club investigation that exposed the scam.

Original BARIN March 2, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thank you Diane, why dont our officials listen, they always seem to argue when told of these situations or call the person with concerns a troublemaker.
We need more Diane’s as watchdogs for our city, then maybe our concerns at the very least will be properly investigated.

LWitherspoon March 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

@Diane
I simply think it’s important in the interests of balance to note that the City didn’t lose money. I applaud your civic engagement but not every issue is a huge scandal, no matter how much certain highly political individuals would like it to be.

Suzanne March 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm

L Witherspoon, in lieu of you having not done any investigation at all regarding the OHPA, their budget, ancillary facilities like the restaurant or driving range, it is incredulous that you would be critical of someone, anyone but yourself, investigating due diligence of an entity currently securing taxpayers’ money when it is supposed to be self-sustaining through fees. Please! Save your criticism for someone who doesn’t care!

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NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk more than 2 years ago as the Norwalk reporter for the Norwalk Daily Voice and resigned in October to begin Nancy On Norwalk. She is married to a career journalist, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website) and two middle-aged cats who are still trying to work out a peaceful co-existence.