A Whitestone man appealed a decision Tuesday that he be held without bail after being charged with embezzling millions of dollars from a Long Island City car dealership, according to federal prosecutors.
Authorities allege Chris Orsaris, 37, forged 80 checks from Major Chevrolet Long Island City worth between $6,000 and $86,000 each from 2005 to 2009 for a total of $3.8 million, according to a 184-count indictment filed in the Eastern District court in Long Island March 26. After his arrest, he was fired from his position as general manager of the used-car dealership, authorities said.
Prosecutors are also seeking the forfeiture of $4.5 million along with his multimillion-dollar homes in Whitestone; Southampton, L.I.; Trump World Tower in Manhattan; and Florida, which the indictment said were purchased with embezzled funds.
He was able to get away with allegedly stealing money from under the company’s nose because its parent company, Major Automotive Cos., brings in $300 million in sales per year, according to a letter from prosecutors to Judge Leonard Wexler requesting that Orsaris not be granted bail.
“Orsaris abused his high-ranking position and the quantity of business generated by Major made Orsaris’ crimes nearly undetectable,” said the letter.
Authorities also accuse him of purchasing an $860,000, 50-foot boat named “B LOW ME” in 2005, then placing it in dry storage in a College Point facility in 2006 and filing a claim with the boat’s insurer Ace American, alleging the yacht had been stolen, according to the indictment.
In January 2007, the company paid off his $754,000 outstanding loan balance and paid him the boat’s estimated equity value of $113,000, according to the indictment.
Orsaris also led a life surrounded by criminals, according to the bail letter.
“Orsaris has made every effort to ingratiate himself with the criminal elements,” the letter reads.
The letter alleges that some of the Greek American’s paid assistants, bodyguards and chauffeurs distributed steroids throughout New York and shipped cocaine from Queens to Greece.
Two orders of protection have been issued against Orsaris due to “his violent behavior,” the letter states, and he was recently arrested and charged with criminal assault in the third degree.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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