Tag Archive | "Police News"

Sag Harbor Man Pleads Guilty to July DWI Accident on Route 114

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By Tessa Raebeck

A Sag Harbor man pled guilty Tuesday to charges that while driving drunk last July, he caused a collision that seriously injured a six-year-old boy, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said in a press release.

William Hurley, 60, of Sag Harbor pled guilty to the seven-count indictment at a court conference in Central Islip. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault in the second degree, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, two counts of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and reckless driving, according to the release issued by District Attorney Thomas Spota.

The charges maintain that while driving drunk on Route 114 in East Hampton Town last July 6, Hurley caused a head-on collision that left a six-year-old boy seriously injured and his mother hospitalized. Hurley was reportedly driving his Toyota pickup truck northbound at around 6:15 p.m. when he crossed the double yellow line and swerved into oncoming traffic where he collided head-on with a southbound BMW driven by Elizabeth Krimendahl, 53, of New York City, according to East Hampton Town Police. His blood alcohol content was .14; the legal limit is .08.

Krimendahl suffered a leg injury in the crash and was taken by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital. Her young son, Thaddeus, was in a car seat in the backseat and was seriously injured and hospitalized with a skull injury.

Hurley, the owner of Peconic Beverage East on Pantigo Place in East Hampton, was taken to Southampton Hospital and then transferred to Stony Brook at the time of the crash.

The cars collided in an area of Route 114 that is one of the road’s rare straight stretches. According to police, Hurley’s vehicle struck Krimendahl’s close to the double yellow line and both cars ricocheted off one another to opposite sides of the road. The truck rolled over before stopping and the front of the BMW, a four-door sedan, was crushed.

“The defendant,” said District Attorney Spota, “who was driving all over the highway crossing over the double yellow line several times prior to the crash, told East Hampton Town police officers that he was tired, and admitted at the scene that he consumed two drinks made of vodka and grapefruit juice, drinks that he described as ‘strong ones.’”

Hurley, who was described by police as having “glassy, bloodshot eyes,” and smelling of alcohol at the scene, said he thought he had fallen asleep at the wheel, according to Spota.

Following Hurley’s plea of guilty, State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho made a sentencing promise to sentence him to two years’ incarceration and two years of post-release supervision.

Dix Hills Man Indicted on Fraud Charges; Feds Allege Scheme to Buy Shinnecock Cigarettes

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By Tessa Raebeck

A Dix Hills man was arraigned in federal court Tuesday following charges that he solicited over $5 million from friends and neighbors in what federal officials are referring to as a Ponzi scheme that took place over eight years.

Robert Rocco, 48, was charged with 14 federal counts of wire and mail fraud, after allegedly promising investors returns of as much as 18 percent annually on fabricated investments, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Prosecutors said victims believed their investments – ranging from $25,000 to $1.2 million – were being used by Rocco to fund loans to a tobacco shop on the Shinnecock Native American Reservation to finance wholesale cigarette purchases, among other ventures.

Since 2006, Rocco purported to provide said financing through his corporation, Limestone Capital Services (Limestone) in Melville, in which over two dozen individuals invested, according to prosecutors.

As president of the Dix Hills Soccer Club, Rocco allegedly used his position to solicit donations and investments from members, donors and volunteers of the club. The indictment states he controlled the club’s bank accounts and did not permit others to access the records.

In early 2010, Rocco allegedly took some $66,915 from the Dix Hills Soccer Club and deposited the checks into a Limestone bank account, subsequently distributing the funds to his investors as their purported returns.

According to the indictment, Rocco then told one victim, who is a volunteer and member of the soccer club, that the club had no funds left, prompting the victim to make two donations of $20,000 and $25,000, respectively.

In the summer of 2010, Rocco allegedly solicited donations from the victim and his family for a new company, Advent Merchant Services, LLC, (AMS) which he said was a credit card processing company. The indictment states the money Rocco received from the victim for AMS was not invested, but instead used to pay purported returns to Limestone investors.

Prosecutors said Rocco again solicited the victim for donations to a third company, Advent Equity Partners, LLC, (AEP) and provided him with fraudulent notarized sale contracts and bank statements. In addition to the $45,000 in donations meant for the Dix Hills Soccer Club, the victim and his family paid Rocco over $1.3 million for supposed investments in AMS and AEP, said the indictment. Rocco allegedly used the victim’s own funds to pay the family’s returns.

According to the indictment, Rocco recruited a second victim – who also invested his money as well as his family’s money – to help him solicit investments from a wider network of friends, family and colleagues. Prosecutors said Rocco promised investors annual rates of return of 15 to 18 percent and raised over $5 million in investments in Limestone alone between 2006 and 2013.

Using funds received from later investors, Rocco allegedly paid initial investors about 10 checks of a few hundred dollars per year between 2009 and 2013, with lesser returns than promised.

Around February 2009, Rocco told Limestone investors that some $5 million in uninsured cigarette inventory financed by the company was stolen from the Shinnecock Reservation by “a rival Indian tribe,” according to the indictment. No police report was filed.

In the late summer of 2013, after allegedly missing payments to investors, Rocco reportedly confessed to the second victim – who had helped him solicit investments – that everything he had told him about Limestone was a lie.

Rocco is charged with five counts of wire fraud and nine counts of mail fraud, all federal. He reportedly pled not guilty to all charges.

If convicted, Rocco faces substantial jail time – as much as 30 years per charge – and must forfeit all funds and property obtained directly or indirectly as a result of his alleged offenses, including his home in Dix Hills.

Arrest Made in Alleged Sexual Assault in Wainscott

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By Kathryn G. Menu

A Rockville Centre teen, Joseph Cardinali, was arrested by East Hampton Town Police on Sunday, November 17 and charged with aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, a felony, and assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor.

According to East Hampton Town Police, around 5:11 p.m. they responded to the Wainscott address of Phoenix House, a non-profit provider of substance abuse services, following a report of a victim of violence.

An 18-year-old male victim was transported to Southampton Hospital where he was admitted and underwent surgery, said police. Police said investigation indicates a wooden broom handle was used by Cardinali, 16, to penetrate the rectum of the victim.

Cardinali was subsequently arrested and charged.

An investigation is ongoing. Police ask anyone with information that may assist in this investigation contact the East Hampton Town Police Department at 537-7575. All calls will be kept confidential.