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Long IslandCrime

Ex-LI banana tycoon seeks leniency in pension theft sentence

Thomas Hoey Jr. is seen in Garden City

Thomas Hoey Jr. is seen in Garden City on Jan. 11, 2009. Photo Credit: Victor Alcorn

One-time Long Island banana tycoon Thomas Hoey Jr. is seeking leniency when he is sentenced for embezzling worker pension money by arguing the crime was the result of a “breakdown” he suffered after the cocaine overdose death of a woman at a 2009 sex party he hosted.

Hoey, 48, of Garden City, is already doing 12.5 years in federal prison for drug distribution stemming from the 2009 death of Kim Calo of Glenwood Landing, and also faces a consecutive 1-1/3-to-4 year state sentence for assaulting his girlfriend. He was convicted in March of stealing from retirement accounts at Long Island Banana Co.

“Following Kim Kalo’s death … Defendant fell apart psychologically,” Hoey’s lawyer Dominic Amorosa wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed Sunday with Manhattan U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer, who is scheduled to sentence Hoey on July 19.

“He essentially had a breakdown which triggered, along with stupidity and selfishness, the deplorable conduct which ruined his own life and destroyed his company and his family, and which will leave him in federal and state prisons for many years to come,” Amorosa added.

“I think Tom lost his mind over this tragedy which he brought on himself,” Hoey’s father, Thomas Hoey Sr., said in a letter to the judge. “I know now he also became an awful cocaine addict after this which also ruined his judgment. I know it was his own fault that he was ruined, but this is the truth.”

Hoey was convicted of stealing $750,000 in retirement funds, which he said he borrowed to help keep the fruit distribution business afloat, but prosecutors said subsidized his son’s college tuition and a lifestyle of drugs, foreign travel and fancy restaurants.

Amorosa asked Engelmayer to impose a sentence that would run concurrent with the two he already faces. Prosecutors have not yet filed their sentencing letter in the case.

Hoey faces a maximum of 45 years in prison.

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