Larchmont couple face grand larceny charges

A Larchmont couple who own three businesses, including a baby clothing store, are facing grand larceny and tax charges from the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.

Denise and Christopher MacDonald, who live on Jochum Avenue, were arraigned today 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.

All of the charges are felonies and followed 12-month investigation by the District Attorney’s office and state Department of Taxation and Finance.

Christopher MacDonald 53, and Denise MacDonald, 47, owned C.W.M. Horticultural Services, a landscaping company in Larchmont; Twinkle Toes Baby, a baby clothing store with locations in Rye and Larchmont; and 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.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Chartier said, “They are very decent people. They are well respected in the community and have a lot of strong support.”

C.W.M. Horticultural Services and Twinkle Toes Baby were charged as businesses with one count of second-degree grand larceny. The baby clothing store faces an additional a tax charge. Wish Home Styles was charged with one count of third-degree grand larceny.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash for Denise MacDonald and $5,000 cash for Christopher MacDonald. They face up to fifteen years in state prison on the top grand larceny charge.

Schubert hearing re-skedded

Lawyers for a World War II veteran will be in court Dec. 8 for a hearing in the $5 million federal lawsuit that claims the City of Rye violated the man’s civil rights in an ongoing battle over a neighbor’s drainage system. The case had been scheduled for a pre-motion conference on Dec. 2.

Bob Schubert, 86, says in his suit the city failed to make sure his neighbor got proper permits before installing the system. Schubert says the drainage system dried up his 20,000-gallon pond. The suit claims the city inflicted emotional distress as well as shock and emotional scarring in addition to depriving him property, privacy and speech.

The battle over Schubert’s dried up pond grew in intensity when former City Manager Paul Shew sent a mental health team from Westchester Medical Center to Schubert’s home saying he was worried about Schubert’s health.