District Attorney

Posted on: January 22, 2015

Ex-Employee of Ruth's Chris Steak House Pleads Guilty to Theft from Employer

Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Florida man had pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from a Garden City steakhouse where he worked as office manager and income auditor for 11-1/2 years. Barry Pearlstein, 70, of Orlando, pleaded guilty before Nassau County Court Judge Philip Grella to Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) and Falsifying Business Records in the 1st Degree (an E felony). Pearlstein received a commitment of two consecutive nine-month sentences, for a total of 18 months in jail, and full restitution in the amount of $230,933.39. He is due back in court for sentencing on March 19. “Integrity is not a virtue of a bygone age; it remains the guiding principle of all hard-working people, business owners and employees alike,” Acting DA Singas said. “This defendant abused the trust of his employer and broke the law by taking advantage of his position to steal thousands of dollars from his employer and then lying to conceal his crime. My office will continue its efforts to make sure that this defendant is held accountable for his actions.” Acting DA Singas 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 2014 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 the District Attorney's office and the Nassau County Police Department Crimes Against Property Squad, which made the arrest on Dec. 1, 2014. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Sotirhos of Acting DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Pearlstein is represented by David Besso, Esq.

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