Montauk business owner charged with grand larceny

A Montauk business owner has been charged with grand larceny.

Officials said Monday that Mark Ripolone allegedly stole more than $325,000 from customers’ bank accounts and a payroll company over a three-year period.

“This defendant allegedly financially exploited his customers, most of them small businesses, to steal funds from their bank accounts and allegedly took money from a payroll company to pay for employees who did not exist,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement.

He said that a joint investigation with police departments from East Hampton Town, Sag Harbor Village Police Department and New York State led to the charges.

Ripolone’s attorney, Susan Menu, said she had no comment at this time.

Ripolone owned two companies in Montauk:  123 Delivery, a food delivery service, and Hampton Management Group Inc., a beach service company that specialized in providing luxury beach chair set ups and decorations for special events.

Officials said that Ripolone allegedly stole approximately $168,000 from Sept. 1, 2018, through Oct. 15, 2021, by obtaining the bank account information and routing numbers of his customers’ accounts to deposit the money he received on their behalf. He would then allegedly use the customers’ bank account information to make ACH withdrawals from their accounts, which he used to pay his credit card bills, mortgage and Verizon phone bill.

Ripolone is also alleged to have stolen approximately $160,000 from a payroll company with which he had contracted to do payroll for Hampton Management Group. He is alleged to have stolen this money by having the payroll money transferred to his personal bank account rather than having the funds available to reimburse the payroll company.