Larchmont Business Owners Charged with Grand Larceny

Two more Larchmont retail businesses are in trouble, but not for the reason you probably think.








The Westchester District Attorney’s Office says Denise and Christopher MacDonald, who own the Twinkle Toes childrens stores in Larchmont and Rye, and CWM Horticultural Services, a landscaping company in Larchmont, failed to pay their personal and corporate sales taxes for the last 11 years.

The couple, who live in Larchmont were arraigned Thursday on charges of second-degree  grand larceny and two counts of repeated failure to file personal tax returns. Denise MacDonald also was arraigned with one count of third-degree grand Larceny and repeated failure to file corporate tax returns.

You may recall the 2008 incident involving the same couple, (scroll down after clicking) arrested for taking a Liz Feld for State Senate sign from the ground.

District Attorney’s office and the state Department of Taxation and Finance conducted a 12 month investigation before filing charges..

Christopher MacDonald 53, and Denise MacDonald, 47, also own Wish Home Styles, a home furnishings store with a sales location in Rye.

Prosecutors say the couple owes more than $500,000 in unpaid state sales tax and unpaid personal income tax. They are accused of keeping sales tax from 1998 to 2009 and not filing an income tax form since 2004.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash for Denise MacDonald and $5,000 cash for Christopher MacDonald, and bail was apparently met.  Their next court appearance is scheduled on Sept. 28. They face up to fifteen years in state prison.

Chris served as Volunteer Fire Chief in Larchmont. Denise has been President of the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce.

Press release from Westchester DA’s Office



  1. Oh no! Another store on Palmer Ave. to close!

    Michele Stevens

  2. hopefuly one will be opening very soon

  3. We have a legal system in this country ,that says innocent until proven guilty.

  4. maybe another smoothie shop will open in Twinkle Toes

  5. Note to self don’t piss off Liz Feld…

  6. My receipts never had a tax entry, and frankly…..they never returned cash when cash was paid-even within 7 days. Their policy was not listed on the recipt, and the sign was hidden, half obstructed behind the register…..but really great model planes!

  7. Preventable, but sad just the same. I wonder why they go after little guys, yet corporations avoid paying billions by registering in the Cayman Islands. That is the real crime.

  8. I understand it is legal to publicize this stuff . . . but they have kids in the district – it would have been nice not to stigmatize the family by making this story a headline.
    editrix: i understand your position. But this is a legitimate news story and covering the news is our primary mission. HOWEVER, unlike some other local media, theLoop chose *not* to run those awful mug shots from the DA’s office for that very reason…nor have we run mug shots of the last 3 or 4 accused local criminals in the past. It was something we routinely did in NYC TV but it does not feel appropriate in this context.

  9. We need retailers–big and small– to pay their taxes. Just like we individuals pay our taxes. It helps support everything that goes on in the community; and with many businesses boarded up, those taxes become all the more important. When you end up in court, that makes it legitimate news which is indeed unfortunate for their children. Too bad the parents didn’t consider the kids 11 years ago when they decided to stop paying their taxes.

  10. Yippee again right wins out — or at least draws attention to people who have been bilking the community for years.

    Channel 12 News and the Larchmont Gazette printed Denise and Chris’ photos, “RS”. Our editrix shows much discretion in that regard since they both looked like hardened criminals in their mug shots.

  11. Yes, innocent until proven guilty, but SHAME on the IRS, why did it take them over a decade to discover this???

  12. I think this could have gone back more than 10 years. There’s a statute of limitation on most crimes and that’s probably why they only charged for those years.

    As one of CWM’s customers and a local, I must say this feels very “Dukes of Hazzard” to me.

  13. “Endurance Rider” A store has the right to establish it’s own return policy. Most small businesses do not offer cash back. It only became a law to post store policy in the last few years. It is the buisiness’ responsibilty to post it, and your responsibility to read it.

  14. Editrix, Didn’t you publish the mug shot of the priest at St Vito’s parish in Mamaroneck? I guess all the residents of Larchmont/Mamaroneck do not get the courtesy you mention above. Interesting…what happened to innocent until proven guilty? What was your rationale or motive for publishing his mug shot?
    editrix: “Really?”, you are completely correct and that was the last time we posted a mug shot…the last 2-3 recent cases involving larceny and investor fraud in L/M were not posted with the mug shots provided…though there should be no discriminating between those and the case of the priest accused of rape.

  15. Pay up or shut up. Bringing up large corporations and what we think they get away with is besides the point.

  16. Cry me a river. I pay my taxes, isn’t that we are asked to do? How else are the Non-Union teachers going to get paid? How else is this community going to continue
    to be somewhat self sustainable?
    Pay up move out of Rome.

  17. This is a disturbing story to read. Especially since so many small business are struggling in this economy; yet have still remained financially transparent and honest.

  18. Actually, Editrix, with all due respect, I think one can discriminate between so-called white collar crimes and physical crimes against individuals in determining whether to publish a photo. Although people charged with crimes are innocent until proven guilty, the public at large has the right to avoid them. You rarely hear criticism of the sexual offender laws that require convicted offenders who have paid their debt to society to register their addresses . . . and of the communities that disclose at-large the individual’s identity, photo and residence. Just a thought.

  19. As a CWM customer, I like Chris personally. But this really pisses me off if the story is true. He charges a lot for his services, and I checked some old invoices and he did collect sales tax from me. So basically he’s pocketing a 7% premium on top of his already high rates.

  20. why am I not surprised? July 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    as a former CWM customer, I always thought Chris was a scammer — my bill was frequently inflated, and I thought it odd that he used the Fire Chief car as his personal vehicle, to check on his workers and such. A decade of tax dodging is shocking, still.

  21. This case is just so bad and brings the entire community down. They should have thought about how their kids would feel when they commited the fraud.

  22. I am surprised that no one picked up this story of yet another Larchmont resident without morals. His children attended our local elementary schools. Couldn’t agree more with ‘Carolina’. He should be behind bars……..

    Local Doctor Ordered to Reimburse More Than $2 Million in False Claims
    A federal judge orders Lawrence Jaeger to pay back $2.75 million in false claims dating back to 2001.

  23. Henry— based on what I read, it was not a criminal case – it was a
    settlement without admission of liability. Judge signs the order
    agreed to by the parties – “judge orders payment” is a technicality.
    Are you covering every IRS audit and settlement? Just saying. In addition, action was brought
    on by a “whistleblower” – a former (disgruntled?) employee – who
    stands to benefit financially.

  24. With all due respect FOM, are you a personal friend of Larry Jaeger? Here’s the entire story below…you don’t agree to pay $2.7 if you are innocent….as a tax payer I’m tired of getting the short end of the stick……

    Local Doctor Ordered to Reimburse More Than $2 Million in False Claims
    A federal judge orders Lawrence Jaeger to pay back $2.75 million in false claims dating back to 2001.
    By Rasheed Oluwa | July 9, 2010
    A local dermatologist must pay $2.75 million in damages for Medicaid and Medicare fraud, a federal judge has ruled. 

    Dr. Lawrence Jaeger, a Larchmont resident and owner of the Community Medical and Dermatology Center and Advanced Dermatology of New York, agreed to the settlement, which was approved last month by U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty.

    The settlement represents $2,674,000 false claims that were made under federal and state Medicaid claims and $76,000 in false claims that were made under federal Medicare claims.

    State and federal authorities were alerted after a former physician’s assistant at Advanced Dermatology filed a case under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. 

    A women who answered the phone at Jaeger’s New York office Thursday said he was unavailable for comment. 

    “Healthcare fraud drains the system of billions of dollars of hard-earned taxpayer money,” Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “Doctors are supposed to treat patients, not defraud the public. The Southern District of New York will continue to work with our state and federal law enforcement partners to aggressively enforce the laws prohibiting healthcare fraud.”

    Court records indicate that Jaeger, who has one office in Manhattan and two in the Bronx, earned certification from the state Department of Health by falsely claiming that his facility’s service would be primary care services. Jaeger was able to increase his Medicaid reimbursement rates from $30 to $150, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    The complaint, originally filed in 2007, also states that Jaeger instructed his staff to spend a minimum of two to three minutes with his patients, but indicate on billing forms that they spent 20 to 30 minutes. Staff members were also ordered to exaggerate the level of services provided to patients in order to make reimbursements higher.

    Staff members were given increased hourly rates based on the number of patients they saw in a given day, federal prosecutors said.

    The scheme resulted in tens of thousands of false claims filed to the Medicaid and Medicare programs and millions of dollars disbursed illegally.

    The complaint referenced claims filed since 2001, but prosecutors declined to offer specifics on when the fraud took place.

    This case was handled by the Southern District of New York’s newly formed Civil Frauds Unit, working together with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the New York State Office of the Attorney General.

    The restitution will be paid quarterly for five years and is secured by real property, prosecutors said.

  25. Fom I think you need to re-read the story. This was a settlement as a result of charged brought by the US Justice Department for fraud. When Jaeger commits fraud against Medicare and Medicaid he steals from you, me and every taxpayer. Not sure why you categorize the whistle blower as a disgruntled employee – perhaps they just have the morals that Jaeger lacked. This is a great example of where the whistle blower laws work. You need to stop defending the indefensible.

  26. The Jaeger case is totally different from this one. Jaeger was trying to convert his practice into a primary care service, but according to the United States Dept. of health, he never was able to. In Jaeger’s mind, he does think that he was running a primary care service. In court, he would possibly be able to argue that he was right. However, he settled, so we will never see that court case.
    THe Macdonalds were purposedly charging people sales tax to make money.
    editrix correction Jeff, they were charged, not found guilty.

  27. Jeff… can you even begin to defend Jaeger? He committed FRAUD. Plain and simple. He was laughing all the way to the bank at OUR expense. Yes, the two cases are different, it’s obvious both lack morals (that is, if the Macdonalds are found guilty). Jaeger should be stripped of his license to practice medicine and he should have a few square meals behind bars.

  28. I’m sorry to hear that Chris is in trouble. I have been one of his customers for years and he has handled many jobs for me very well. His work with the Fire Department and the Chamber of Commerce are also to his credit.

  29. Why did the comments stop so suddenly? I find it hard to believe that people aren’t still commenting on this story and the one referenced in the other commentary!?

  30. The court date is coming up soon. Please keep us posted….She is a very nice woman I wish her the best.

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