A sneaky delivery person appears to have fleeced a gourmet bakery out of nearly $90,000 in cake, allegedly absconding with bags full of its fancy confections and reselling them on the sly. According to the NY Post, accused pastry thief David Lliviganay stretched this heist out over the course of about four months, and has pleaded guilty to petit larceny since his arrest. He will next appear in court on September 24th.
To be clear, we aren't talking about the kind of pre-packaged birthday cakes you can buy for $20 to $30 from your local grocery store; we are talking about special cakes, cakes composed of "paper-thin" crêpes layered with pastry creme, cakes that come in such creative flavors as green tea and charcoal and royal milk tea. We are talking about Lady M Confections cakes, which start at $55 for a six-inch and $90 for a nine-inch signature recipe. We are talking about cakes beloved of celebrities, sought-after cakes with resale value — hot cakes, as they say.
The Post reports that Lliviganay, 32, began lifting these fancy desserts in November, walking out of the Long Island City warehouse with bags full of secret cakes. Sometimes he'd leave with as many as eight bags in one go, packing them into shipping carts and loading those into his Dodge truck. Lliviganay reportedly made off with 1,020 cakes total, 357 of which (or $31,238 in cake) he allegedly stole in January alone. According to the Post, Lady M (which operates five "cake boutiques" and one food hall location in NYC) only realized something was amiss when they received reports that unauthorized vendors were selling their product at a discount. When they checked the warehouse security cameras, they found footage that appeared to show Lliviganay entering the freezers without any cakes on his person, and then exiting with big suspicious bags some time later. WiFi records allegedly linked him to the warehouse on every occasion when cakes went missing.
Lliviganay reportedly left for what he said would be a vacation around February 14th, just as the investigation got underway, and subsequently disappeared. His attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment, nor did a spokesperson for Lady M. But speaking to the Post, another worker suggested Lady M had been too lax in taking inventory, and Lliviganay simply took advantage of the opening "mismanagement" created.
Lady M, meanwhile, is requesting reimbursement for all the stolen goods, "plus interest,” along with damages for an “intentional, malicious,” and “outrageous” scheme.
Update: Asked for comment about the lawsuit, Ken Romaniszyn, CEO of Lady M Confections Co., Ltd., said the following in an emailed statement: "Lady M is fully committed to promoting a workplace of respect and inclusion. We are a born and bred New York City company, and have been in business for nearly two decades. We put our customers first in all matters, and are dedicated to the quality of our cakes and service. We also enforce company standards, which include honesty and integrity, and cannot comment on the specifics of pending litigation matters."