Former Farash Corp. chief executive Matthew S. Aroesty has been arrested on charges of stealing thousands of dollars from the property management company he once ran.
Aroesty, the grand-nephew of company founder Max M. Farash, was arraigned on a grand larceny charge in Brighton Town Court on Sept. 17.
A felony complaint alleged that Aroesty used Farash Corp. money to pay personal expenses "without authorization or permission." The amount he is accused of misusing was not specified but was greater than $50,000, according to the one-page complaint filed by a Brighton police investigator.
The 43-year-old Pittsford resident, who left Farash Corp. at the end of 2007, pleaded not guilty and the case was sent to a Monroe County grand jury. His lawyer, John Speranza, said Friday that he had limited information about the case but vowed to "forcefully fight" the allegations.
Assistant District Attorney William Gargan said Friday that the Brighton police had been investigating the case for several months.
Aroesty's arrest is a dramatic development in the saga of the wealthy, normally private Farash family, which has been under scrutiny since the 96-year-old family patriarch and his wife of more than 60 years, Marian M. Farash, both were declared mentally incapacitated in April 2007.
Rochester lawyer James C. Gocker was appointed guardian of their Farashes' real estate-based fortune, estimated to be as large as $500 million. Though much of his work has been done away from the public eye, occasional court hearings and filings have made clear the conflicts between Gocker and members of the family, including Matthew Aroesty and the Farash's daughter, Lynn Farash.
Among other things, Gocker oversaw removal of Aroesty as Farash Corp. CEO and Lynn Farash as the company's chairman. More recently, he unsuccessfully sought judicial permission to sell the family's Brighton estate and other property, which Max Farash had intended to leave to his daughter.
Aroesty became company president and CEO in late 2003 or early 2004.
He could not be reached for comment Friday, but Lynn Farash did speak out.
"Matthew is my cousin who I love and support. He worked closely with my father for 20 years," said Lynn Farash, Max and Marian Farash's only child. "I don't believe these allegations and I am appalled at what is being done to our family."
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