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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said Tuesday his office has indicted nine companies and 44 people for allegedly shorting heating oil deliveries to residential, commercial and municipal buildings.


Of the 44 people indicted on numerous charges, including fraud, 29 of them are truck drivers who allegedly stole, re-sold or purchased heating oil, according to the DA's office.


A long-term joint investigation found that from September 2006 through this October,companies were delivering less oil than their customers ordered but charging them full price. Some of the companies gave dispatchers cash to tell drivers to "easy target" locations, according to the DA's office, and purchased and sold the oil below market rate.


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The companies areF&S Distribution, G&D Petroleum Transportation, G&D Heating Oil, Casanova Fuel Oil, Express Petroleum, 4th Avenue Transport, All-Boro Transportation, Enterprise Transportation and Century Star Fuel Corp.


“No illicit business or black market can be allowed to operate while honest New Yorkers are working hard to keep their homes warm during colder months,” Vance said in a statement. “The fees associated with living, doing business, and providing municipal services in New York City continue to rise, even without the added costs and complications of widespread fraud in the heating oil industry. The victims of these alleged schemes include all those who managed, worked, or lived in the affected buildings, as well as the City itself — and when schools, hospitals, and police precincts were shorted — it was residents and taxpayers who paid the price and suffered the consequences.”