CHELSEA — An Italian sweet shop owner who stole millions of dollars from her elderly former employer to finance her business was sentenced to three to nine years in prison Wednesday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said.
Selvaggia Pizzetti, 44, who ran a now-shuttered gelato and pastry cafe called Crave.It on Sixth Avenue near West 15th Street, stole more than $2.8 million from a 95-year-old man for whom she worked as an assistant between January 2010 and March 2016, prosecutors said.
Pizzetti paid her credit card bills with money from the man’s accounts and made 23 “unauthorized wire transfers” from his accounts to hers — spending more than $1.1 million in stolen funds to finance Crave.It, the DA's office said.
She also failed to file state income tax returns for 2014 and 2015, and didn’t report the money she’d stolen as income between 2010 and 2013, prosecutors said.
Her employer noticed “discrepancies” in his books last year and fired her soon after, the DA’s office added.
Pizzetti pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny, one count of criminal tax fraud in the second degree and one count of criminal tax fraud in the third degree on Feb. 8, the DA's office said.
“Over the course of six years, Selvaggia Pizzetti stole nearly $3 million from her elderly employer in part to finance a personal business which ultimately failed,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.
Her sentencing includes paying back $3.2 million in civil judgment orders.