Rosita Joseph, former COO of U.S. Subsidiary That Operates Juan Valdez Coffee sentenced to 3-6 years prison term in New York for grand theft from the company

Rosita Joseph, former COO of U.S. Subsidiary That Operates Juan Valdez Coffee sentenced to 3-6 years prison term in New York for grand theft from the company

January 26 - 2023

Coffee Geography Magazine

Rosita Joseph, the former C.O.O of NFCGC Investments Inc, was sentenced by Justice Laura Ward of the Manhattan criminal court, after pleading guilty to one count of grand theft in the second degree. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced the indictment of Rosita Joseph, 51, for stealing more than $900,000 from NFCGC Investments, Inc., (“NFCGC”) a subsidiary that operates Juan Valdez coffee in North America. For over five years, between January 2013 and May 2018, JOSEPH, who was the Chief Operating Officer, used the stolen money to pay for luxury vacations, including to the Bahamas and Barbados; make purchases at Amazon.com; and inflate her own paychecks. JOSEPH is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. 

NFCGC is the North American subsidiary of the Colombian company Procafecol S.A., which was founded by the non-profit Colombian Coffee Growers Federation. Procafecol represents the business interests of Colombian coffee farmers and operates the multinational brand Juan Valdez Café. “Rosita Joseph allegedly used her position as Chief Operating Officer to raid her employer’s coffers for personal gain, which included using hundreds of thousands of dollars for extravagant travel purchases and inflated paychecks. We will not allow unscrupulous employees to use their companies as a personal piggy bank,” said District Attorney Bragg.

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, Joseph had access to the company’s payroll and operating accounts at Citibank, along with a corporate American Express card. In September 2016, Procafecol performed a routine financial audit and asked Joseph for all financial statements associated with company accounts. Joseph provided minimal detail and refused to provide bank statements. After she refused numerous requests for account documents, NFCGC fired Joseph and conducted a full review. 

A review of American Express statements revealed that Joseph allegedly used the card for various personal purchases, including airline travel for herself, family members, and friends, to Orlando, Florida; the Cayman Islands; the Bahamas, and more. JOSEPH also paid for stays at the Four Seasons Hotel and a luxury beach resort in Barbados. In total, Joseph charged more than $116,000 worth of travel expenses to the American Express card from January 2014 to August 2017. 

According to court documents, Joseph also made more than $86,000 in purchases on Amazon.com, including Gucci accessories and 14-carat gold and diamond jewelry. 

Joseph also allegedly stole more than $118,000 from the company’s operating account in unauthorized wire transfers. JOSEPH also paid herself a higher salary than she was authorized to receive and took home thousands of dollars in unauthorized pre-tax expense reimbursements per month. Joseph also overpaid herself in earnings and reimbursements during off-cycle pay dates when she did not receive a paycheck. From January 2013 to May 2018, JOSEPH made over $580,000 in unauthorized payroll deposits. 

ADA Jana Jett Loeb of the Financial Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Bureau Chief Kofi Sansculotte, under the supervision of Executive Assistant D.A. Susan Hoffinger (Chief of the Investigation Division). Paralegals Kristen Grimes and Brandon Martinez, DANY Investigator Maria Coyt-Freda and FAFI Analyst Eric Rothmann are assisting with the case.