U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Breon Peace speaks in...

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Breon Peace speaks in Brooklyn in October 2022. Credit: Craig Ruttle

An indictment unsealed Thursday in Brooklyn federal court accused a Long Island man and his business associate of defrauding the City of New York by overcharging municipal agencies for more than a decade for repairs and maintenance of fire alarm systems.

Walter Stanzione, 65, of East Meadow, and William Neogra, 63, of Millsboro, Delaware are charged in the indictment with wire fraud conspiracy. The papers did not specify how much money Stanzione and Neogra allegedly collected through allegedly fraudulent means, but they said the men defrauded city agencies, including the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Department of Education, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Sanitation from 2009 to 2020.

“The defendants were hired to make sure that the fire alarm systems in hundreds of New York City buildings functioned safely and effectively,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “The defendants took this as an opportunity to steal and defraud.”

Stanzione's attorney, Donna Newman of Manhattan, did not return a call for comment. She entered a plea of not guilty on Stanzione's behalf during an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Chery Pollak, according to a spokeswoman for the Eastern District.

Pollak ordered Stanzione released to home detention and electronic monitoring until Tuesday, when he will return to court to work out the details of his bond. 

Neogra is scheduled for arraignment Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Laura Hatcher in the District Court of Delaware. Neogra's attorney, Mary Kate Healy of the Federal Public Defender's office in Delaware, did not return requests for comment. 

According to the indictment, Stanzione and Neogra were the principals in a company called Fire Alarm Electrical Corp., which was contracted by New York City agencies to fix and maintain fire alarm systems.

The company overbilled the agencies by submitting fraudulent invoices with dramatically inflated prices, the indictment said, as well as invoices from shell companies. The company also submitted invoices purportedly from legitimate retailers, which the defendants allegedly altered.

Stanzione and Neogra face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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