A Huntington man who had run a hyperbaric oxygen chamber business "will spend his time behind bars soaking in the air from a jail cell instead" authorities said after his sentencing Thursday in a $1 million fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley sentenced Marcello Sozio to three years in prison and ordered him to pay back the money to the victims, according to the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office.

Court records show Sozio, 65, previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud after a nine-count indictment in 2018 that also had charged him with aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors said Sozio defrauded banks, his business partners and a customer he falsely billed for services at a Great Neck facility. Authorities said the business was based there and in Chicago.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment and is used to treat decompression sickness related to scuba diving, along with other medical conditions that include traumatic brain injuries and serious infections, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Between 2014 and 2016, Sozio got about $770,000 in loans while claiming his business partners had authorized him to apply for the financing as part of their joint venture, according to authorities. But law enforcement officials said the Huntington resident actually forged his partners' signatures on loan documents and impersonated one partner during a phone call with a lender.

In 2016, Sozio also fraudulently billed about $230,000 in credit card charges to the parents of a child patient for medical treatments at a Great Neck facility, but provided no services connected to that billing, prosecutors said.

The FBI began investigating the case after a lawyer representing Sozio's two former business partners reported the fraudulent scheme, according to court records.

Sozio's attorney couldn't be reached for comment after Thursday's sentencing.

Prosecutors said in a court filing that Sozio separately was convicted in 2001 of making false statements to federal agents after a check fraud scheme. They also said he submitted phony doctor notes to the court "as part of a self-serving gambit to delay his inevitable conviction" while his current case was pending.

"Now Mr. Sozio will spend his time behind bars soaking in the air from a jail cell instead of one of his hyperbaric chambers," said Philip Bartlett, the inspector-in-charge of the local division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service — which was part of the probe.

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