A Hudson Valley man, employed by two local companies, embezzled over $2.5 million to fund his gambling and more.

On Thursday, Mark Cina, 56, of Poughkeepsie was sentenced to 41 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion.

“Mark Cina embezzled millions of dollars to line his pockets at the great expense and suffering of his trusting employer, a Hudson Valley entrepreneur and small businessman," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a press release. "Theft like the defendant’s is intolerable, and today’s sentencing shows that an employee’s choice to engage in such a crime is a choice to go to prison.”

A complaint unsealed in Southern District of New York court in July 2017, alleged Cina embezzled over $2.5 million from two Town of Poughkeepsie manufacturing companies where he was comptroller, over the course of at least seven years.

One company's work included a solar-powered ring of lights encircling the top of MetLife Stadium. The other local company molded plastic.

Cina had authority to sign checks for the companies and use the companies’ credit cards and ATM cards, officials say.

Cina used stolen funds to gamble, pay his rent, drive rental cars, dine out, get his car washed, bail out an arrestee and pay a phone charge for an inmate’s call, court documents alleged.

According to business and financial records obtained during the criminal investigation and a forensic report prepared by an accounting firm, Cina made the following unauthorized disbursements of the companies’ funds:

• Payments to a mini-mart (approximately $457,000)
• Payments to a gas station (approximately $180,000)
• Payment of CINA’s rent (approximately $25,000)
• Payment of CINA’s personal credit card bills (approximately $125,000)
• Checks payable to CINA (non-payroll) (approximately $599,000)
• Checks payable to cash (approximately $282,000)
• Cash withdrawals (approximately $825,000)
• Additional unauthorized charges (including charges to pharmacies, medical and dental facilities, a rental car company, a car wash facility, an inmate phone service, and for purported loans from family members of CINA)

In addition his prison sentence, Cina was ordered to pay $3,385,665 in restitution and forfeit $2,548,820.

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