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Thomas Hoey embezzlement trial scheduled to start Tuesday

Thomas Hoey on Jan. 11, 2009

Thomas Hoey on Jan. 11, 2009 Credit: Victor Alcorn

Opening arguments in the Manhattan federal court trial of one-time Long Island banana mogul Thomas Hoey, who is accused of stealing worker pensions, are scheduled to begin Tuesday after a day of jury selection Monday ended with an argument over a sandwich.

After the jury was picked and released, defense lawyer Dominic Amerosa complained that Hoey — charged with embezzling nearly $1 million from Long Island Banana Co. workers, and already in jail on drug and assault convictions — had gotten only “one small sandwich” all day.

He asked U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer to intercede, but the judge said he wasn’t responsible for the “sandwich making function,” and punted the question to the marshals who transport and guard Hoey every day.

After the judge left, Amerosa complained to two marshals that a single baloney sandwich wasn’t enough. “That’s what everyone gets,” the marshal said.

Hoey, 48, of Garden City, is already serving 12 1⁄2 years for distributing cocaine linked to a sex-partner’s overdose death, and a 1 1⁄3- to 4-year state sentence for assaulting his girlfriend.

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