Thomas Hoey, the former Long Island banana mogul serving federal prison sentences for cocaine dealing, obstruction of justice and embezzling employee pension money, had 10 months trimmed off his time at a Manhattan federal court hearing on Wednesday.
Hoey, 50, of Garden City, who headed the Long Island Banana Co. fruit wholesaler, won a slight sentence reduction because of the 2017 reversal of a state court conviction for assaulting his girlfriend and tampering with evidence that had figured in his federal sentence.
U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel, who gave Hoey 151 months in prison in 2015 for obstruction and cocaine distribution that involved a sex party at a Manhattan hotel that ended in a Long Island woman’s overdose death, reduced the sentence to 141 months.
Hoey said he deserved a break in part because of prison rehabilitation efforts that have included work on an inmate suicide prevention team, staying away from drugs and alcohol, regularly attending religious services and praying, teaching classes in subjects like guitar and taking classes in subjects like storytelling.
“It’s good that he’s doing these things,” Castel said, who noted that Hoey had also expressed remorse. But the judge said it couldn’t erase Hoey’s past behavior — in which he resisted getting medical attention for Kim Calo, the Glenwood Landing mom who died of an overdose, and involved three others in a cover up attempt that led to convictions for them.
Echoing his comments at Hoey’s original sentencing, Castel called him a “self-absorbed, self-pitying, selfish man who . . . is a very real danger to the community.”
Castel cut the sentence by 10 months because the elimination of the state assault conviction reduced the term of imprisonment called for by federal sentencing guidelines. Relatives of Calo, who opposed any reduction at the hearing, said afterward they were unhappy he got any break.
“We’re extremely disappointed with any time off he received,” said brother-in-law Jim Sayre.
In a separate case, Hoey was sentenced to an additional 5-1/2 years in prison in 2016 for stealing $750,000 from an retirement plan at his banana company. The judge in that case has scheduled a resentencing for January, because the since-reversed state conviction also figured in that sentence.