A former business owner from Long Island has been sentenced in connection with a scheme to defraud banks, business partners, and a customer out of about $1.1 million.
Marcello Sozio, age 65, of Huntington, was sentenced to 36 months in prison for wire fraud, according to an announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on Thursday, Oct. 14.
He was also ordered to pay about $1.1 million in forfeiture and restitution to the victims.
“Today, the defendant has been deservedly sentenced to prison for the financial harm he caused by defrauding his business partners and lenders and stealing from the parents of a young patient,” Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District Jacquelyn Kasulis said. “In conjunction with its law enforcement partners, this Office will continue to seek compensation for victims and prosecute defendants like Sozio who, out of greed, commit fraud for their own financial gain.”
Sozio was the operator of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business based in Great Neck, New York and Chicago, the US Attorney's Office said.
Kasulis said between March 2014 and December 2016, Sozio obtained about $770,000 in loans for his business, and falsely claimed business partners had authorized him to apply for loans on their behalf.
He forged their signatures on loan documents and impersonated a business partner during a phone call with a lender, the US Attorney's Office reported.
Additionally, between September 2016 and December 2016, he "caused approximately $230,000 in credit card charges to the parents of a minor patient for services that were purportedly provided for medical reasons at a Great Neck facility that Sozio operated."
However, Kasulis said Sozio did not provide these services in exchange for the billings.
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