From the Times Ledger:
Marie Castaldo, the disgraced founder of the Queens International Film Festival who pleaded guilty to fraud in Queens and multiple counts of animal cruelty in Ulster County, N.Y., was recently deported, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said this week.
Castaldo had been charged in August with failing to pay more than $14,000 to multiple vendors for the 2007 and 2008 film festivals. These companies included Ballyhoo Central, Brooklyn’s Rooftop Films, Manhattan video equipment provider Big Apple Rentals and Connecticut projectionist James Hill.
Castaldo, who founded the QIFF festival and ran it from 2003-2009, is a French national. It was not known when she left the country or where she was sent. A spokesman for ICE would only say “she was deported from the United States.”
The Queens DA’s office said Castaldo pleaded guilty to the fraud count in September and was eventually sentenced to a conditional discharge, which meant she was able to avoid jail time but had to abide by certain conditions. These required that she pay back the companies and stay out of trouble for a year, the DA’s office said.
The Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also arrested Castaldo in late July for keeping 48 dogs locked in cages at an empty storefront of a former feed store in Phoenicia, N.Y.