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Former COO of Juan Valdez US Subsidiary Gets 3-6 Years for Theft of $900K

Juan Valdez cafe

A former Juan Valdez Café locaion in Midtown Manhattan. Public domain photo.

The former Chief Operating Officer of the company that operates the Juan Valdez brand in North America pleaded guilty to grand larceny after stealing nearly more than $900,000 from the company.

Rosita Joseph, 51, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to three to six years in state prison following the guilty plea last week in New York State Supreme Court.

Joseph was the COO of NFCGC Investments, Inc., a U.S.-based subsidiary of Colombia’s Procafecol S.A., which was established by the nonprofit Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) to manage the Juan Valdez brand internationally.

“Rosita Joseph brazenly fleeced her employer so she could inflate her salary and make extravagant purchases, including luxury vacations,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. said in an announcement of the sentencing. “The more than $900,000 money should have gone to growing the company or directly into the pockets of workers, instead of Ms. Joseph’s own bank account.”

Joseph was accused of stealing from the company over a period of five years beginning in 2013. According to prosecutors, Joseph used a company credit card to pay for luxury vacations for her and her family members to numerous locations, including the Cayman Islands, Barbados, The Bahamas and Orlando, Florida.

Joseph was also accused of using the company to card to purchase more than $86,000 worth of items, including jewelry and Gucci products. Over the five year period, Joseph made nearly $700,000 worth of unauthorized wire transfers and unauthorized payroll deposits to her private accounts.

The investigation began after Procafecol performed a routine financial audit in 2016 and Joseph refused to provide bank statements and other account documents. NFCGC subsequently fired Joseph.

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