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Suffolk man indicted in alleged Nassau murder-for-hire plot, prosecutors say

James Kalamaras, 41, was arrested Tuesday, April 14,

James Kalamaras, 41, was arrested Tuesday, April 14, 2015, on charges that he and two men, Dr. Anthony Moschetto and James Chmela, took part in a murder-for-hire plot, the Nassau DA's office said. Credit: NCPD

Nassau County prosecutors Thursday announced the indictment of a Suffolk County man accused of setting fire to a doctor's office as part of an arson and murder-for-hire plot.

James Kalamaras, 41, who Nassau police arrested on April 14, was arraigned in Nassau County Court in Mineola after a grand jury indicted him on charges of arson and burglary, along with a new charge of criminal mischief. He pleaded not guilty and is being held on $500,000 bond or $350,000 cash bail.

Kalamaras, who faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, is due back in court May 27.

"Thankfully no one was hurt as a result of the fire that this defendant is charged with setting as part of a plot started by one Nassau cardiologist against another," acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a written statement.

Kalamaras' alleged crimes were part of a plot hatched by Dr. Anthony J. Moschetto to burn down a rival doctor's practice and have him assaulted or killed, prosecutors said. The plan was foiled after an undercover officer was hired to carry out the assault, officials said.

Moschetto, 54, of Sands Point, is alleged to have hired Kalamaras to set fire to the doctor's office in Nassau as part of the plot. Kalamaras helped set the fire on Feb. 25, prosecutors said.

Kalamaras' attorney, Stephen Kunken of Commack, said, "We're in the process of conducting our own investigation, and we're going to vigorously contest the charges."

The alleged scheme grew out of a dispute between Moschetto and his onetime boss over Moschetto prescribing large amounts of oxycodone.

Eventually, Moschetto wanted to take over the rival doctor's practice, officials said. Moschetto, who pleaded not guilty April 15 at his arraignment, faces a maximum sentence of 81/3 to 25 years in prison on the top charge, prosecutors said. The charges include conspiracy, criminal sale of a controlled substance, arson, burglary, weapons possession, criminal sale of a firearm, and criminal solicitation. He was released on $2 million bond after his arraignment.

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