The 40-year-old manager of a Brooklyn fuel terminal will serve up to three years in state prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of gallons of heating oil worth $600,000, prosecutors say.
Scott Vitello was sentenced to one to three years in New York state prison, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance announced Wednesday. He pled guilty to grand larceny charges in New York State Supreme Court last month.
"The illicit trade of stolen heating oil has lead to millions of dollars in fraud and losses for fuel terminals and customers alike," said Vance. "I encourage other companies to make similar efforts to crack down on conduct that undermines honest business."
Vitello managed a Buckeye heating oil terminal in Red Hook between January and July 2014, prosecutors said. He allowed unauthorized individuals and tanker trucks to fill their tanks and leave the terminal without paying for the heating oil, which Vitello then sold at a fraction of the retail price, according to prosecutors.
The Florida native disabled counters that track the quantity of gallons dispensed at the terminal's loading racks, tampered with security camera positioning and scheduled pick-ups during early morning or late evening hours to cover his tracks, officials said.
"This defendant engaged in a widespead scheme that consisted of fraud and brazen theft in the heating oil industry which shortened the City and its residents by stealing millions of dollars in fuel each year," said Gonzalez. "With today's imposed sentence he has now been held responsible for his actions."