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LI banana mogul Thomas Hoey faces new charges

Thomas Hoey is shown on Jan. 11, 2009

Thomas Hoey is shown on Jan. 11, 2009 in Garden City. Credit: Victor Alcorn

Long Island banana mogul Thomas Hoey Jr. is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on new federal charges that he ripped off money intended for the pensions of employees at his family-owned Long Island Banana Co.

Hoey is currently serving a state sentence for assaulting his girlfriend, and awaiting sentencing later this week on federal charges that he supplied drugs that killed a woman at a sex party and obstructed justice.

The new indictment charges that he took more than $800,000 from profit-sharing retirement accounts maintained for employees of his Long Island Banana Co., a regional produce distributor, between 2009 and 2012. The company is now in bankruptcy proceedings.

The money was used to pay company bills for produce from wholesalers, Manhattan federal prosecutors alleged, and also to pay for personal expenses for Hoey and his family -- including insurance bills on luxury cars, and credit card bills.

Among the credit card expenses, prosecutors said, were travel to London, Las Vegas, Aruba, Cancun, Mexico and San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as payments to a university attended by Hoey's son, and payments for hotels, limousines, department stores and home furnishings.

While the pension money was misused, employees continued to get misleading statements about the value of their retirement accounts, the indictment said.

One employee, for example, got a statement saying his account value had grown from $132,000 to $140,000 in 2012, but in fact only $15,000 remained in his pension fund by the end of 2012.

Hoey, 46, of Garden City, is charged with embezzlement, interstate transportation of stolen money, money laundering and wire fraud.

He was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years incarceration last month for assaulting his girlfriend and tampering with evidence, and federal probation officers have recommended the maximum of 20 years on the federal drug and obstruction charges.

Lawyers for Hoey did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.


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