In connection to a yearlong investigation into industry fraud, seven individuals were indicted Wednesday on charges connected to the theft of almost $500,000 of heating oil from a terminal in Brooklyn, according to authorities.
Staten Island residents Paul Ciliento, 37, Alexander Cocchiola, 57, Peter D’Arco, 65, Frederick DeCicco, 48, Bart A. DiCarlo, 26, and Angelo Guadagno, 51; and Florida resident Scott Vitello, 39, were charged in State Supreme Court with grand larceny in the second and third degrees.
According to prosecutors, between January and July of 2014 the accused were part of the theft of hundreds of thousands of gallons of heating oil from Buckeye Partners, L.P., which owns and operates an oil terminal at 722 Court St. in Brooklyn.
During the specified time period, Scott Vitello managed the terminal and with the help of Bart DiCarlo — who worked as a terminal operator — allegedly allowed unauthorized individuals and tanker trucks to pull into the loading racks, fill the tanks with heating oil and leave the terminal with the oil — which was sold for a fraction of the retail cost, authorities said.
Angelo Guadagno allegedly acted as a broker and negotiated prices, scheduled pick-up times and made arrangements for Alexander Cocchiola — owner of Cypress Fuel — and Paul Ciliento — owner of Boomerang Trucking — to steal the heating oil from the Brooklyn terminal, according to prosecutors.
Peter D’Arco — owner of SJ Fuel — and Frederick DeCicco — driver for MDC Services – also allegedly worked directly with Vitello and DiCarlo, authorities said, to organize the unauthorized pickups.
According to prosecutors, as an attempt to cover the theft, Vitello and DiCarlo took apart counters that would track the number of gallons of oil dispensed at the loading racks. They allegedly changed the positioning of various security cameras at the terminal as well.
Over the course of the six months, unauthorized trucks were allowed to enter the terminal a total of more than 50 times — often during late evening and early morning hours, authorities said.
“These defendants are charged with running a scheme to systematically steal heating oil from a Brooklyn terminal to enrich themselves and we intend to now hold them accountable,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said.
The indictment of these men are part of an investigation in which last year nine companies and 44 individuals were charged for being a part of various schemes to defraud customers by shorting heating oil deliveries to residential, commercial, and municipal properties throughout New York City.
The companies that were indicted include F&S Distribution Inc., G&D Petroleum Transportation, Inc., G&D Heating Oil Inc., Casanova Fuel Oil, Inc., Express Petroleum, Inc., 4th Avenue Transport, Inc., All-Boro Transportation, Inc., Enterprise Transportation, Inc., and Century Star Fuel Corp.
Individuals who were indicted included principal owners of the companies, three fuel depot dispatchers, and 29 truck drivers who were charged for the theft, resale and purchase of the stolen heating oil.
“In the case announced last fall, the defendants were charged with profiting from the sale of heating oil stolen from residential and municipal buildings,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. “Today’s indictment represents a continuation of that investigation, as well as my Office and our partners’ commitment to rooting out fraud in this industry. The heating oil industry should now be on notice to clean up its act.”