Former Stamford Twin Rinks Manager Sentenced After Stealing Almost $500K from the Business

Seal of the Department of Justice 6-17-16

Seal of the Department of Justice

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A 55-year-old Shelton man who worked as a manager at Stamford Twin Rinks, just over the border from Darien, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 21 months in prison after stealing almost half a million dollars from the business. He also was ordered to make full restitution to the business.

Here’s an announcement issued Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office about the sentencing: 

Mark J. Zito, 55, of Shelton, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 21 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding the owner of a Stamford ice skating facility that he managed.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from October 1999 to August 2014, ZITO

According to court documents and statements made in court, from October 1999 to August 2014, Mark J. Zito, 55, was the general manager of Stamford Twin Rinks, an ice skating facility in Stamford.

The facility is owned and operated by RivCan Associates, LLC (“RivCan”).  Zito was responsible for managing and overseeing the ice skating facility’s operations, and he had a written contract with RivCan in which he would be paid commissions for securing agreements from third party vendors to place advertising at the ice skating facility.

Zito created and utilized AAZ Consulting, an unincorporated entity controlled by him, to bill RivCan for these commissions.

During his employment, Zito submitted to RivCan numerous fraudulent invoices, primarily for services that RivCan neither requested nor authorized, or for commissions that were either fraudulent or grossly inflated.

As general manager, Zito approved the payment of these invoices and directed his subordinates to issue him checks payable to AAZ Consulting.

The total loss from Zito’s illegal conduct is $490,468.81, which also includes funds he received by claiming payments for purportedly maintaining and updating the skating rink facility’s internet website, and through unauthorized benefits in the form of excess salary payments, excess vacation pay, and cellular telephone reimbursements.

Chief Judge Hall ordered Zito to make full restitution.

On Dec. 20, 2017, Zito pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Zito, who is released on bond, was ordered to report to prison on Sept. 25, 2018.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Stamford Police Department, Connecticut State Police, and Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.

Editor’s note: To keep editorial style uniform, frequently makes minor changes to announcements we republish, and we occasionally change words and even wording for clarity. Wherever possible, we link to the announcement, as originally published online.

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