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Fred Ippolito ordered to prison after panel’s bail bid denial

Former Town of Oyster Bay Commissioner Frederick Ippolito

Former Town of Oyster Bay Commissioner Frederick Ippolito leaves Federal Court after sentencing in Central Islip, Sept. 28, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

A federal appellate panel Tuesday denied former Town of Oyster Bay official Frederick Ippolito’s request for bail pending an appeal of his case, and the trial judge ordered him to report to federal custody by Friday afternoon.

The three-judge panel’s tersely worded decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit in lower Manhattan lifted a temporary stay imposed by a federal appeals court judge that had blocked him from starting a 27-month prison term until a bail hearing was held to determine if he could remain free during an appeal.

“The motion for bail pending appeal is denied,” read the decision of a panel consisting of José A. Cabranes, Rosemary S. Pooler and Barrington D. Parker. “The stay of the District Court’s surrender order is vacated. The Clerk is directed to expedite the appeal.”

Ippolito, 77, was scheduled to report late last month to the Federal Medical Center prison in Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to begin serving 27 months, after being sentenced in September on one count of a six-count tax-evasion indictment as part of a plea bargain.

U.S. Circuit Court Judge Susan Carney in Manhattan issued a stay of that sentence on Oct. 27, and the three-judge panel Tuesday vacated that order.

The panel’s decision prompted U.S. District Court Judge Leonard D. Wexler to order Ippolito to begin serving the sentence almost immediately.

“It is hereby ordered that the defendant surrender himself to the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons before 2:00p.m. on November 18, 2016,” read Wexler’s order.

Ippolito, of Syosset, was the town’s former commissioner of planning and development.

He pleaded guilty in January to evading taxes in connection with $2 million in outside consulting fees he received while working for the town. The money came from Carlo Lizza & Sons, a paving contractor that did business with the town, as well as from the Lizza family trust, according to federal prosecutors.

In pleading guilty to the tax charge, Ippolito had agreed not to appeal if he was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

But in arguments to the Second Circuit, Ippolito’s attorney, Robert LaRusso had said that despite that agreement, Ippolito was entitled to an appeal because U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler went outside the scope of the case in the sentencing.

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