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Press Release

Two Men Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court In Connection With Sullivan County Arson

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

            Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that NICHOLAS MOTTA and DOMINIC MOTTA were sentenced today in White Plains federal court to prison terms of 15 months, and 12 months and one day, respectively, for their roles in a scheme to obtain insurance proceeds by committing arson.  NICHOLAS MOTTA and DOMINIC MOTTA pled guilty on November 6, 2015, to attempted mail fraud in connection with the arson and insurance fraud scheme.  The third defendant in the case, Anthony Perso, pled guilty to attempted mail fraud on October 23, 2015.  All three defendants pled guilty before the U.S. District Judge Nelson S. Román, who imposed today’s sentences. 

            According to the allegations contained in the indictment and information adduced during the Court proceedings:

            In the early morning hours of February 10, 2010, during a blizzard, a shuttered bar in Swan Lake, New York, formerly known as Kilcoin’s, was set ablaze and destroyed.  Perso was among the individuals who set the fire.  NICHOLAS and DOMINIC MOTTA owned the bar, and arranged the arson by having others, including Perso, travel to Sullivan County to set the bar afire, in order to make a claim to recover proceeds from the insurance company.  In pursuing the insurance claim, DOMINIC MOTTA deceived the insurance company about the fire in order to attempt to obtain more than $100,000 in insurance proceeds.  The insurance company, however, detected the arson, and ultimately denied DOMINIC MOTTA’s claim when MOTTA repeatedly failed to respond to requests by the insurance company that he answer questions about the fire under oath.

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              In addition to their prison terms, DOMINIC MOTTA, 59, and NICHOLAS MOTTA, 43, both of Islandia, New York, were each sentenced to one year of supervised release and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. NICHOLAS MOTTA was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 and DOMINIC MOTTA was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000. 

            Anthony Perso, 32, of Medford, New York, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Román on March 11, 2106, at 10:30 a.m.        

            Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Suffolk County Police Department, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

            The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Allee and George Turner are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated February 23, 2016

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 16-041