A Manhattan federal jury on Friday convicted onetime Long Island banana mogul Thomas Hoey of embezzling more than $750,000 from worker retirement accounts.
The jury convicted Hoey, 48, of Garden City of stealing money from profit-sharing accounts at the Long Island Banana Co. on its first day of deliberations after a weeklong trial.
The verdict added to a growing list of legal woes. Hoey is already serving a federal prison sentence for distributing drugs at a sex party that ended in a woman’s overdose death and faces a state sentence for assaulting his girlfriend, while the company is in bankruptcy.
Prosecutors contended that Hoey siphoned money out of worker profit-sharing accounts to subsidize his lush lifestyle of drugs, foreign travel, fancy restaurants and gentlemen’s clubs.
Hoey “made real what is the nightmare of any hardworking employee: the theft of a company-sponsored pension plan,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Jurors apparently rejected Hoey’s defense that he was borrowing worker money to help the business and planned to pay it back.
“We are disappointed in the verdict and intend to appeal,” said Hoey’s Manhattan lawyer, Dominic Amorosa.
In addition to embezzling, Hoey was convicted of interstate transportation of stolen money, wire fraud and money laundering.
He will face up to 45 years in prison at his scheduled sentencing in July.