Long Island Man Sentenced to 36 Months in Prison for $1 Million Bank Loan and Credit Card Fraud Schemes
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Marcello Sozio, the former operator of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business based in Great Neck, New York and Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by United States District Judge Denis R. Hurley to 36 months’ imprisonment for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud banks, his business partners and a customer who allegedly received services from Sozio’s business. The Court also ordered Sozio to pay approximately $1.1 million in forfeiture and restitution to the victims of his crimes.
The sentence was announced by Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, 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 sentence.
“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,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis. “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.”
“Mr. Sozio is a classic example of a fraudster, who schemed and used others to obtain funds based on nothing but lies. Now Mr. Sozio will spend his time behind bars soaking in the air from a jail cell instead of one of his hyperbaric chambers,” stated USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Bartlett.
Between approximately March 2014 and December 2016, Sozio applied for and obtained approximately $770,000 in loans for a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business. In the loan applications, Sozio claimed that his business partners had authorized him to apply for the loans on their behalf as part of their joint business venture. The partners did not authorize the loan applications and Sozio obtained the unauthorized loans by forging the partners’ signatures on various loan documents, both by hand and electronically, and by impersonating one business partner during a telephone call with a lender. As a result of Sozio’s actions, his partners were liable for approximately $770,000 in loans. In addition, between September 2016 and December 2016, Sozio 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. In reality, Sozio provided no services to the child in exchange for the fraudulent billings.
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-177 (DRH)