Mario Garofalo, principal owner of V. Garofalo Carting, which collected garbage from 17,379 Smithtown homes last year, has sold the company, with garbage pickup to continue uninterrupted under the new owner.
The Smithtown Town Council on Sept. 3 approved purchaser National Waste Services’ takeover of a residential pickup contract under which the town paid $2.1 million to Garofalo in 2018. Garofalo contracted with the town in 2014. The contract runs through 2020, and National Waste Services will retain Garofalo’s trucks and employees, Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski said last week.
Garofalo pleaded guilty in May to attempted enterprise corruption, a felony, in what prosecutors from Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini’s office said was a yearslong scheme worth hundreds of thousands of dollars involving the company’s commercial accounts. The town will receive $222,000 in restitution in connection with the commercial work, Jakubowski said, but it was not clear whether that money would come from Mario Garofalo or other people connected with the company.
According to a 28-page grand jury indictment against Garofalo, his cousin Robert Garofalo and the company, employees repeatedly deposited garbage picked up from customers outside of the town at Covanta Huntington Resource Recovery Facility while claiming it had come from Smithtown customers. That let the company evade tipping fees, prosecutors said, since carters pay no tipping fee for Smithtown clients at that facility. Instead, that cost is included in a waste generation fee the town assesses to each business. At the same time, the company pocketed disposal fees from the outside customers, prosecutors said.
Robert E. Garofalo, a driver for the company, also pleaded guilty in May to attempted enterprise corruption, according to court records. The company pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption last December, according to records.
Robert Macedonio, a lawyer for Robert Garofalo, said negotiations to sell the company were already underway when Sini’s office brought charges last year. He said the restitution to Smithtown was part of a $1.1 million settlement with Sini’s office.
“We didn’t want the town and the taxpayers of Smithtown, or anyone, to get hurt, so we negotiated a global settlement at the same time the sale of the company went through,” Macedonio said.
A spokeswoman for Sini did not respond to requests for comment.
Ray Perini, a lawyer representing the company and Mario Garofalo in the criminal cases against them and Mario Garofalo in a civil asset forfeiture case against him, said “the agreement isn’t finalized” and declined to comment further.
Sentencing for the Garofalos and the company is Sept. 20, Macedonio said. They are scheduled to appear in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead, according to records. Mario Garofalo is also scheduled to appear Sept. 26 in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead, according to court records.