Former Town of Oyster Bay Commissioner of Planning and Development Frederick Ippolito reported to a federal prison in Massachusetts on Friday to begin serving a 27-month sentence for tax evasion, a prison official said.
Ippolito, 77, of Syosset, is in custody at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, about 40 miles northwest of Boston, said Mary Long, executive assistant with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The prison, which houses about 1,000 inmates, is for men requiring specialized or long-term care.
Other inmates at the facility include Peter Madoff, brother of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff; Raj Rajaratnam, the former hedge-fund titan convicted of insider trading; and Frank Locascio, a former boss of New York’s Gambino crime family, according to the prison bureau.
A federal appellate panel Tuesday denied Ippolito’s request to remain free while he appeals his sentence, clearing the way for the trial judge to order Ippolito to surrender Friday.
Ippolito was convicted in January of one felony count of tax evasion in connection with $2 million in outside consulting fees he received from Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving Inc. and Lizza Family Trust from 2008 to 2013, according to prosecutors. During those years, Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving Inc. was a vendor with the town.
For most of that time, Ippolito was the town’s commissioner of building and planning. He resigned in January.
Prosecutors dropped additional tax evasion charges against Ippolito as part of a plea agreement.
In September, U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler in Central Islip sentenced Ippolito. Due to Ippolito’s age and failing health, his attorney, Brian Griffin of Garden City, asked Wexler to give Ippolito probation.
“According to Probation and his doctors, he suffers from multiple serious physical injuries. I don’t want to go into them too deeply, but suffice it to say, it’s his heart, it’s his lungs, it’s his back. He gets biweekly cortisone shots in three places in his body,” Griffin said at Ippolito’s sentencing hearing. “He can barely walk.”
Ippolito, who told Wexler he was taking heart and arthritis medications, also pleaded for mercy.
“I accept the responsibility for my conduct, which was wrong, and I apologized for that,” Ippolito said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “My only request is that you can judge me not just by my wrong, but by the totality of my 77 years.”
Wexler handed down a sentence that was harsher than the 24 months prosecutors asked for.
“I have never in 33 years — that’s as long as I’ve been a judge — gone beyond the maximum,” Wexler said at the hearing. “But there’s something rotten in the Town of Oyster Bay and this court wants to know, and I am sure the public of Oyster Bay wants to know, too, what the heck is going on.”
Ippolito had agreed not to appeal his sentence. But his other attorney, Robert LaRusso of Mineola, argued in court that Ippolito was entitled to an appeal because Wexler went outside the scope of the case in the sentencing.
Ippolito’s appeal is pending.