Rockie Gajwani accused of embezzling $2.4M from Trevi for cocaine, strippers

One of the trips allegedly cost real estate firm up to $17,000

<em>New York State Supreme Court House (credit: Wikimedia Commons)</em>
New York State Supreme Court House (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

One-time Vornado Realty Trust executive Rockie Gajwani was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he stole $2.4 million from the company he later founded, Trevi Retail, and blew it on cocaine, strip clubs and lavish trips.

Gajwani, 52, allegedly embezzled the money after he founded Trevi in 2011, the New York Post reported. He was forced out of the company in 2013 because executives suspected that he stole the money. At the time, the company, backed by private equity firm Principal Enterprise Capital, had invested more than $200 million in retail and mixed-used properties in Manhattan.

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According to the criminal complaint, Gajwani regularly expensed “business trips” to the company that were actually for cocaine and trips to strip clubs for him and some other employees. One of the trips allegedly cost between $14,000 and $17,000 for Gajwani and another employee. On another occasion, he allegedly told an employee to buy “Rock of Ages” tickets for himself and his family. According to prosecutors, Gajwani was slated to make nearly $1 million in salary and bonuses as the CEO of Trevi when he began moving money from company accounts into his own personal accounts.

He was arrested at his Connecticut home and is expected to be tried in Manhattan Federal Court.

Trevi changed its name to Hubb NYC in 2015. The company picked up a mixed-use rental building on the Lower East Side for $24.6 million in April. It also bought a pair of retail condo units at 77 Reade Street in February for $17.8 million. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel