Long Island Man Pleads Guilty to $1 Million Bank Loan and Credit Card Fraud Schemes
Defendant Operated a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Business in Great Neck and Chicago
Marcello Sozio, the former operator of Andi Hyperbarics LLC, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business based in Great Neck, New York, and Chicago, Illinois, pleaded guilty earlier today to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud banks and a customer of his business. The proceeding was held before United States Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. When sentenced, Sozio faces up to 20 years in prison. As part of his guilty plea, Sozio agreed to pay approximately $1.1 million in restitution.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, New York Division (USPIS), announced the guilty plea.
“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,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “The defendant now faces the consequences for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unauthorized loans and fraudulent credit card charges.”
“Stealing from anyone is criminal, however stealing from a parent seeking treatment for a child is unconscionable,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “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, and the FBI works diligently every day to bring justice to everyone who is unfortunately impacted by fraudsters like Mr. Sozio.”
“Liars, cheats and scammers should know that karma is always a handcuff away. Today’s plea represents the hard work and dedication of law enforcement to follow the facts and the money in investigations like these to ensure there is justice for victims,” stated USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Bartlett.
According to court filings and facts presented at the plea proceeding, 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 falsely represented 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.
Additionally, between September 2016 and December 2016, Sozio charged the parent of a minor child, who had received some hyperbaric oxygen treatments, approximately $230,000 for services that he falsely claimed had been provided.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley T. King and Madeline M. O’Connor are in charge of the prosecution.
Huntington, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-58 (DRH)