Woman Gets Jail in $600K Seawanhaka Yacht Club Scam
By Chris O’Neill
The Seawanhaka Corintian Yact Club on Centre Island – the oldest sailing and yacht club on Long Island and the second-oldest yacht club in New York – was stung by the theft of over $600,000 by a scheming long-term employee.
Anna Marie Restrepo, age 59, also known as “Anna Maria Saboski,” of Glen Head, was sentenced on April 27th, to three to six years in state prison on grand larceny charges.
Restrepo pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny in January for stealing over $600,000 from Seawanhaka from 2010 to 2017. She waived her right to appeal the plea and sentence.
Restrepo had previously been convicted in 2009 of first-degree falsifying business records. In that case, she stole over $100,000 while working as a fiscal manager at the Glen Cove Child Day Care. She was then sentenced to a conditional discharge and did not serve prison time.
Several months after that arrest, Restrepo was hired by Seawanhaka as a bookkeeper and was later promoted to boatyard office manager. In addition to bookkeeping, Restrepo was entrusted with using the club’s credit cards to make payments.
She also fraudulently used the credit card numbers of two employees and even opened an AmEx account in the name of another employee without consent and attached a supplementary account in her own name.
The Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club was founded in September 1871 aboard the sloop Glance, which was then anchored in Oyster Bay off Centre Island. The Glance's captain, William L. Swan, was elected Seawanhaka's first Commodore. The current Commodore is Jean Pierre Blaise of Bayville and the Vice Commodore is Robert Fagiola of Lattingtown.
According to prosecutors, Restrepo made over 880 credit card disbursements using stolen fraudulent funds and engineered over 460 unauthorized Seawanhaka bank transfers into her own PayPal account. Withdrawals and transactions took place at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel in Niagara Falls, the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona - and even in Costa Rica.
Restrepo then falsified records and altered transactions to make them appear legitimate.
In addition to her prison term, County Court Judge Teresa Corrigan ordered Restrepo to repay $608,886 in restitution to the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, and $14,449 to American Express.