The owners of two major oil transportation companies based in New York reportedly were arrested Thursday, July 19, on charges of stealing tens of millions of gallons of heating oil and reselling the stolen fuel.
A federal indictment alleges Leonard Baldari Jr., owner of Queens-based Mystic Tank Lines, and company treasurer Michael Hiller have been behind the scheme since 1990, the New York Daily News reported. They allegedly directed their truck drivers to skim a portion of oil from customers, who were billed for the full load, according to the newspaper.
“The defendants made millions of dollars by systematically stealing heating oil from unsuspecting customers,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Ros-lynn Mauskopf told the Daily News.
Also charged in the scheme are Tonino Solimine, owner of T&S Trucking in Brooklyn, and the company’s office manager, Eston Clare, according to the Daily News. The Mystic fraud is estimated at $50 million, and T&S pocketed about $25 million, authorities told the newspaper.
Agents from the IRS and the FBI early Thursday executed search warrants and seized 34 tanker trucks from Mystic’s base in Astoria and the T&S lot in Red Hook, the Daily News reported.