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Head of Queens International Film Festival charged with stealing from vendors

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The Queens International Film Festival’s founder and executive director has been charged with grand larceny and several other crimes after she allegedly failed to pay thousands of dollars to at least four vendors associated with the 2007 and 2008 festivals, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Marie Castaldo, 52, of Rego Park, was arraigned Aug. 10 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Stephanie Zaro and held on $15,000 bail, the DA said.

She will return to court Aug. 24.

Castaldo has been accused of bilking a number of people and institutions who took part in the festival, the DA said. Her alleged victims include Brooklyn’s Rooftop Films, a Connecticut projectionist, Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image, an advertising company, an audio visual engineer for Manhattan’s Big Apple Rentals and numerous others.

Castaldo was charged upstate just two weeks ago of failing to provide sustenance to animals after she allegedly kept as many as 47 dogs in cages without food or water, said Brian Shapiro, the executive director of the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Kingston, N.Y.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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