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Long Island Lawyer, Councilman Accused of Embezzling: Prosecutors

A Long Island councilman has been arrested on federal fraud and tax evasion charges in an embezzlement scheme in which he allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his law firm, prosecutors say. 

Edward Ambrosino, a 52-year-old lawyer from Valley Stream and a councilman in the town of Hempstead, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Central Islip Tuesday. 

Ambrosino was employed at a Uniondale law firm from November 2001 through December 2015, according to prosecutors. From 2013 through 2015, Ambrosino diverted about $800,000 of the $1.3 million in legal fees he received from clients -- including the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA) and the Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corporation -- and deposited it to a specially set up bank account under the name Vanderbilt.

The fees were supposed to go to his legal firm under a signed compensation agreement, prosecutors say. 

Under the Vanderbilt incorporation, Ambrosino evaded "substantial" income tax owed by him by deducting expenses that weren't business-related, and by failing to claim the money he diverted from his law firm, according to prosecutors. 

The IRS lost about $254,628 as a result, prosecutors say. 

Ambrosino was scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Central Islip Friday afternoon. Attorney information wasn't immediately clear. 

Ambrosino is a father of three who founded a non-profit community theater production company, and serves as counsel to or on the board of several civic organizations, according to his biography on the Hempstead town council site. 

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