Listed here are 5 issues it’s essential find out about crime in Westchester County. Video by Jordan Fenster/lohud

A Regulation Vegas journey agent scammed “a number of” Catholic parishes in Westchester County out of greater than $200,000 that was meant for a visit to World Youth Day 2016 in Poland, federal prosecutors introduced Wednesday. 

Vincent Maffucci, seventy seven, was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with one rely of mail fraud and faces as much as 20 years in jail if convicted.

The case is being dealt with by federal prosecutors in White Plains.

In line with the federal grievance, Maffucci collected $240,000 from two Westchester parishes for the journey, which was alleged to happen in July and August 2016 for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day.

As an alternative, prosecutors stated Maffucci pocketed $227,000.

“Mr. Maffucci allegedly capitalized on the belief these organizations positioned with him to get their youth to this religion-crammed world occasion,” Phillip Bartlett, inspector in control of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service workplace in New York stated in a press release. “He betrayed the belief of the religion group when he allegedly spent cash to fulfill his private wants, then lied about their refunds.”

Federal authorities didn’t determine the parishes that have been affected. Maffucci additionally dealt with “a number of” different parishes however they weren’t included within the federal grievance. 

The 2 parishes despatched checks to Maffucci’s firm, ITC Excursions, by means of FedEx and US Mail from March 2014 to Might 2016. 

In June 2016, Maffucci despatched an e mail to representatives from the 2 parishes saying the journey had been canceled due to journey advisories and up to date terrorist assaults and promised to refund the cash, the federal grievance says.

So far, neither parish has been paid again, prosecutors say. 

Federal prosecutors, together with one other regulation enforcement company, reviewed Maffucci’s financial institution data from 2014 by way of 2016 and located he opened a checking account on Sept. 14, 2013 named the “Prakash Account,” federal prosecutors stated. 

The account was used to on private bills, akin to eating, gasoline and clothes, federal authorities stated. Solely two transactions in his accounts relate to the journey, prosecutors stated. 

One of many parishes tried to make preparations with a competing journey company, which wasn’t named within the grievance. Though the competing journey company wasn’t capable of make the preparations, it offered federal prosecutors with a letter from Maffucci’s lawyer to a European vendor employed to e-book motels, which was dated two months earlier than Maffucci canceled the journey, that:

  • stated Maffucci skilled “a collection of monetary hardship which prevents him from fulfilling the stability for the lodge” and was anticipating “an inheritance which can permit him to completely full his obligation.”
  • proposed a number of various choices, together with having the lodge promote the rooms to another person or permitting Maffucci to pay the stability as soon as he receives his…