Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty of Embezzling Turnberry - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty of Embezzling Turnberry

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LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in the embezzlement of nearly $5.6 million from Turnberry Associates, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Monday.

Rocco Lazazzaro, 55, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 22 by U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro. Turnberry Associates owned or developed the Residences at MGM, Town Square shopping center, Turnberry Place, Turnberry Towers and the Stirling Club in Las Vegas.

According to Lazazzaro's plea agreement, he and Hope Ippoliti, 51, the former controller for Turnberry Associates, conspired from May 2007 through January 2012 to steal roughly $3.7 million from the company and its affiliates. The government stated that Ippoliti created fund transfer requests containing false information that the money was intended for business-related purposes when she and Lazazzaro actually intended to withdraw the funds for personal use.

Ippoliti was said to have faxed or emailed the fund transfer requests from Nevada to Turnberry Associates in Florida to cause the transfer of money into Bank of America accounts over which she had signatory authority. Ippoliti and Lazazzaro deposited and cashed checks and cashier's checks drawn on Bank of America bank accounts belonging to Turnberry Associates and its affiliates.

According to Lazazzaro's plea agreement, he was involved in causing roughly $3.7 million of the $5.6 million in losses suffered by Turnberry Associates and its affiliates.

In March, Ippoliti pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11 by Navarro.

Both Lazazzaro and Ippoliti face a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and criminal forfeiture, and are required to make full restitution to Turnberry Associates.

The case was investigated by the FBI and United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Brown.

 

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