A former State Department of Transportation motor carrier investigator from Shirley defrauded the Workers' compensation System by claiming an injury on the job, collecting nearly $30,000 in benefits, and then secretly operating his own trucking company — using a vehicle that had multiple safety violations, according to state investigators.
Niccolo Mormile, 39, pleaded guilty Thursday in Suffolk County District Court to attempted false filing of an instrument, a misdemeanor.
District Court Judge Richard Dunn ordered Mormile to pay full restitution of $28,580 and resign from state service.
“This investigator, who we trusted to ensure vehicles are safe for New Yorkers’ daily use, instead engaged in multiple levels of fraud and deceit,” said Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro. “He claimed injury and began collecting workers’ compensation benefits, and then abused the system by operating his own unsafe trucking company and accessing sensitive information to gain a competitive edge.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini called the guilty plea "a just result that ensures full restitution to the state.”
Jonathan Manley, Mormile's defense attorney, said his client took responsibility for his actions and "came to a fair resolution. And there was absolutely no official misconduct from any actions he undertook as a DOT employee."
Mormile, who was responsible for conducting roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, claimed he suffered an injury on the job in 2016 that prevented him from working. Between July 2016 and 2017, he collected $28,580 in workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits, officials said.
While collecting the benefits, Mormile ran CNC Trucking, a private trucking company, earning more than $125,000 from the business during the time he claimed to be unable to work, authorities said. CNC Trucking also used a vehicle that repeatedly had violations during DOT inspections, Tagliafierro said.
From July 2016 through March 2018, Mormile illegally accessed driver and vehicle examination reports with sensitive information from state and federal databases, officials said. Mormile provided the information to a private trucking consultant to gain a competitive advantage over other trucking companies, the inspector general said. Mormile and the consultant later married.
Mormile is due back in court Dec. 18.