MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that an accountant with a practice in Hempstead was arraigned today for allegedly stealing more than $320,000 from two clients.
Francisco Esquivel, 65, of Baldwin, was arraigned before Judge Erica Prager and charged with grand larceny in the second degree (a C felony) and four counts of grand larceny in the third degree (a D felony). The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on October 14. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.
“This defendant, an accountant, was hired by to handle their taxes and payrolls for two clients, but instead allegedly stole more than $320,000 from local businesses,” DA Singas said. “His alleged conduct is especially egregious because not only did he abuse the trust of his clients, but those clients still must pay taxes for the years they were defrauded.”
DA Singas said the defendant, the owner of Lore Franc, Inc., an accounting firm in Hempstead, allegedly embezzled $327,499 from two clients from 2012 to 2017. The victims, who are local business owners, hired the defendant to pay their quarterly taxes, Workers Compensation Insurance and manage payrolls.
Victim one was approached by an employee of Lore Frank in 2015, who asked him if he had reviewed his bank accounts. The victim discovered that on several occasions from 2012 until 2015, the defendant allegedly made unauthorized cash withdrawals, wrote unauthorized checks to himself or his company, and in some instances wired money to an account he holds in Colombia. In total, the defendant allegedly stole $295,257.
Victim two reAlized there was a problem in February and March 2018 after he received a notice from the IRS that said he owed more than $60,000 in back taxes for tax year 2015. After reviewing his records, he saw five unauthorized cash withdrawals ranging from $2,480 to $9,308, dating back to May 2015. It is alleged that the defendant stole a total of $35,242 from this victim. When the victim accused Esquivel of stealing, the defendant allegedly wrote him a check that bounced.
It is unknown what the defendant allegedly spent the money on.
Senior Investigative Counsel Vickie Curran of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting this case. Daniel Russo, Esq. represents the defendant.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.