A buyer from Stony Brook conspired with a salesman from Connecticut and an accountant from Wisconsin to illegally siphon more than $1.5 million from a supplier, federal prosecutors and the FBI charged on Friday.
The Long Islander, Kenneth J. Pedroli, 59, bought electronic components — and paid much less than their listed prices — for his Islandia-based company, prosecutors said in a statement.
His partners in the scheme, which ran from February 2015 to December 2018, were John T. Finkle III, 57, of East Haven, Connecticut, who worked in sales at the Illinois firm that was defrauded, and Steven C. Gold, 46, of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, who handled its accounting and billing, according to prosecutors.
The salesman had the Long Islander order supplies — and list prices at a fraction of the firm’s published prices, according to the prosecutors.
After the products were delivered, the salesman told the buyer to pay only part of the invoiced price — and pay him directly, the statement said. The salesman deposited the buyer’s checks in his personal bank account, prosecutors said.
To cut how much the buyer owed the Illinois firm, the salesman had the accountant apply fictitious credits, prosecutors said. The salesman then wrote checks to the accountant, which he also deposited in his personal bank account, authorities said.
A Feb. 13 indictment charges each defendant with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. If found guilty, they face a top prison term of 20 years.
Each man also could be sentenced to the same maximum term if found guilty of the other charges. They are wire fraud for Finkle and Gold, and mail fraud for Pedroli, prosecutors said.
Finkle has pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven, the prosecutors said, adding he was released on a $500,000 bond secured by residence and his wife’s rental property, both in East Haven.
His co-defendants should be arraigned in the near future, prosecutors said. Pedroli could not immediately be reached Friday.