A Long Island man who was operating a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business in Great Neck has admitted to a million-dollar bank loan and credit card fraud scheme involving a parent and child.
Marcello Sozio, 62, of Huntington, will face up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in Central Islip federal court to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud banks and a customer of his business.
As part of his plea, Sozio also agreed to pay approximately $1.1 million in restitution, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue announced.
Between March 2014 and December 2016, Sozio applied for and obtained approximately $770,000 in loans for a business offering hyperbaric oxygen services as a form of medical treatment.
In the applications submitted to lenders, Sozio admitted to falsely representing that his business partners had authorized him to apply for these loans on their behalf. Sozio used the loan proceeds for his personal benefit, leaving his former partners liable for the full amount.
Between September 2016 and December of that year, Sozio charged the parent of a child, who had allegedly received some hyperbaric oxygen treatments approximately $230,000 for services that he falsely claimed had been provided.
“Sozio committed a fraud trifecta by duping lenders, cheating his business partners and stealing from the parent of a child for treatment he never provided,” Donoghue said. “The defendant now faces the consequences for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unauthorized loans and fraudulent credit card charges.”
FBI Director-in-Charge William Sweeney added, “Stealing from anyone is criminal, however stealing from a parent seeking treatment for a child is unconscionable. It may often seem as though white-collar crimes don’t really impact people because it is mostly about money. However, this case proves the devastating real-life consequences criminals can have on their victims.”
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