When Ms.Feinberg married Mr.Lalicata, she thought she’d found her dream man.
Instead of the road to a happy marriage, they turned down a path of adultery and betrayal, involving mistresses, mobsters and gambling. Today, the no longer blushing bride is suing her spouse, his mistress and accomplices for millions of dollars.
A Case of Adultery
Mr.Lalicata was working at Beach Bum Tanning Salon in New York City when he met Ms.Feinberg, a wealthy, divorced mother of a five-year-old son. She was 39. He was 30. An extremely attractive woman, Ms.Feinberg was still taken aback by Mr.Lalicata’s obvious attraction to her.
While the timeline isn’t definite, Mr.Lalicata learned his new love was the recent recipient of a lucrative trust fund. Her father was Herbert Ms.Feinberg, a financial and garment industry executive, and an inventor of the seamless panty.
Mr.Lalicata was a handsome charmer. He and Ms.Feinberg began a sexual relationship and he seemed thrilled to embed himself in her young son’s life. Within months, he proposed to Ms.Feinberg. Never happier, she accepted Mr.Lalicata’s proposal.
The duo joined hands in March 2011. They were living what Ms.Feinberg believed was the perfect life. She had a wonderful husband and her son had a father figure. Unfortunately, paradise didn’t last long. It was only months before Ms.Feinberg was spending more time alone than a newlywed should. Mr.Lalicata disappeared for long periods of time.
Ms.Feinberg confronted her new husband and he confessed that he was in trouble. He had a gambling problem that he’d hid from her. He’d believed he could get it under control but failed. Now he was in debt to members of an organized crime family that planned to hurt him if he didn’t pay off. Lalicita’s cousins and an old family friend confirmed the story.
Concerned for her husband’s safety, Ms.Feinberg gave Lalicita hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet it was never enough. She had to mortgage a property she held in Sullivan County to make the mobsters finally back off. She and Ms.Feinberg met with a man in a car. The man counted what was supposed to be the last payment. After doing so, he made a phone call saying he had the money. The man told Ms.Feinberg he had better never see her husband again.
It should have been over. Yet things only went south when the same night after that payment her husband disappeared again. She worried that he had gone on another gambling binge, but learned instead he had jetted off to the Dominican Republic with another woman.
Ms.Feinberg hired a private investigator and discovered that even before the marriage her husband was involved with the woman, Diana Fernandez, 30, a Bank of America employee. Ms.Feinberg learned the money she had siphoned to pay her husband’s gambling debts was being used for spending sprees at Bloomingdale’s, Cartier and Louis Vuitton, as well as lavish trips to Las Vegas.
In a misguided scheme, Ms.Feinberg tried to get her husband to admit to the scam on tape. He realized what she was up to and instead seduced her, making the wire useless. Ms.Feinberg texted the mistress and got her to confess to the relationship. (Bizarrely, Fernandez would eventually have Ms.Feinberg arrested for harassment.)
Not able to get any other kind of legal remedy, the jilted Ms.Feinberg filed a civil suit in the amount of $10.7 million, naming her husband, his mistress, and a number of his friends as co-conspirators in a scheme that conned her out of close to $850,000. Mr.Lalicata, currently living with his mother in Queens, has denied everything. Fernandez tried to remove herself from the suit but the court denied her request.
How all this will turn out is still a mystery as the case awaits its day before a judge. Day to day there are cases of cheating spouses, many of them are left a secret, never discovered, but time to time the culprit is caught and his or her ways exposed.