Avila’s ex-controller pleads guilty in $1.6 million embezzlement

William Sorriento, the former controller of Avila, a retirement community located in Albany, New York, has pled guilty in federal court to charges of embezzling almost $1.6 million from his former employer.

After the company grew suspicious of the illegal activity last year, it contacted federal authorities who then conducted an accounts payable audit and uncovered the theft, according to the Times Union. Avila said the embezzlement took place from only one of the company's accounts and did not negatively impact any services or employees.

The North Country Gazette reports that Sorriento embezzled $1,582,281 between September 2010 and May 2011. He stole the money by forging signatures on company checks to himself and others, which he deposited into his bank account. Prosecutors say he used the funds to gamble and trade options. He wired approximately $95,000 from his personal bank account to options Xpress in Chicago. He then falsified financial records in the Avila ledger to try and hide the activity, says the news source.

Sorriento faces up to 30 years in prison at his sentencing in October, while he has been ordered to pay back the full amount in restitution and turn over any goods purchased with the stolen funds, says the Gazette.

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