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Three convicted in LIRR fraud agree to increased bail conditions

Joseph Rutigliano exits Federal Court after a hearing

Joseph Rutigliano exits Federal Court after a hearing with magistrate court in Manhattan. (Aug. 12, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

The doctor and two retirement consultants convicted last week for their roles in the LIRR pension scam agreed Monday to meet increased bail conditions to avoid jail until they are sentenced in December.

Consultant Marie Baran, 65, agreed to court-monitored confinement in her East Meadow home, except for trips to the doctor or religious services. Consultant Joseph Rutigliano, 66, of Holtsville, and Dr. Peter Lesniewski, 62, of Rockville Centre, agreed to sharp increases in their bail amounts.

Travel restrictions were continued on all three defendants under terms of an agreement between their lawyers and federal prosecutors that was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

All three face up to 15 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors said they sought the higher bail because some of the other 25 people convicted previously in the scam have been sentenced to federal prison, and these three people might flee rather than return to court for sentencing on Dec. 13.

Baran's bail remained at $250,000. Lesniewski's bail, which had been $750,000, will be increased to $2 million and his wife has agreed not to liquidate her securities holdings. Rutigliano's bail, originally $100,000, was upped to $1 million, and he has also agreed to put up the equity in his winter home in Florida.

Defense attorneys told the judge their clients would be able to post the higher amounts and comply with other terms of the bail arrangement.

Lesniewski was convicted of "padding files" to provide a false medical basis for claims. Rutigliano and Baran charged fees of $1,000 and more and used insider knowledge of the system to help retirees fill out bogus applications. The three made more than $1 million from their roles, the government said.

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