District Attorney

Posted on: December 1, 2014

Former Manager of Ruth’s Chris Steak House Charged with Stealing Over $230K From Employer

Barry Pearlstein

Former Manager of Ruth’s Chris Steak House Charged with Stealing Over $230K From Employer Barry Pearlstein, 69, of Florida, embezzled funds over five-year period MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the arrest and arraignment today of a Florida man who stole over $230,000 while working as an office manager and income auditor for Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Garden City over a period of five years. Barry Pearlstein, of Orlando, was arrested and arraigned today before Nassau County District Court Judge Joy Watson on the following charges: • Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) • 10 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the 1st Degree (an E felony) Judge Watson set bail at $25,000 cash or bond. If convicted of the top charge, Pearlstein faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison. He is due back in court on Dec. 9. “In this case, a trusted employee took advantage of his position to steal thousands from a business where he had been employed for over a decade,” DA Rice said. “Businesses that have weathered several recessions and rising costs shouldn’t have to also account for workers who steal and lie to cover up their tracks. I want to thank Ruth’s Chris Steak House for their diligence in uncovering this theft, and the Nassau County Police Department Crimes Against Property Squad for partnering with my office in this investigation.” DA Rice said that an internal investigation by Ruth’s Chris Steak House revealed that between Jan. 30, 2009 and May 24, 2014, Pearlstein embezzled over $230,000 in funds from the restaurant by pocketing cash meant for deposit in the restaurant’s bank account on 511 separate dates. The internal investigation further revealed that Pearlstein made false entries in the business records of the restaurant to conceal the theft from his employer. Pearlstein was terminated by Ruth’s Chris Steak House in June after 11-1/2 years of employment. After his termination, Pearlstein relocated to Florida, where he currently resides. The case was referred by Pearlstein’s employer for joint investigation by DA Rice’s office and the Nassau County Police Department CAP Squad, who made the arrest today. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Sotirhos of DA Rice’s Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Pearlstein is represented by David Besso, Esq. The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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