Grand larceny case against N.Y. car dealership exec drops to petty theft

What was a major grand theft and counterfeiting case against a former executive of the Fuccillo Automotive Group has become a petty theft case of petty crime.

Joseph Pompo, 33, who was once accused of stealing more than $1 million from the group, filed Alford’s petition on Oct. 24 and one count of petty theft on Oct. 24. Did. Sentencing he is scheduled for February 15, 2023.

Jefferson County, New York, Assistant District Attorney Sheryl Nielsen said she could not comment on the case until a verdict was rendered.

Under Alford’s plea, the defendant pleads guilty but officially declares innocence, according to Syracuse University law professor Todd Berger. You must present evidence of

Pompo, former corporate director of finance, tax, treasury and insurance operations, and reinsurance at Fuccillo Automotive, was arrested in February 2021 on suspicion of first degree grand theft.

New York State Police alleged that Pompo set up a reinsurance company without Fuccillo Automotive’s consent and used it to steal more than $1 million from his employer.

However, Pompo was never formally charged with a Class B felony. Pompo said the grand jury decided not to indict him after he testified in his own defense before the body.

Trooper Jack Keller, a spokesman for the New York State Police, said his agency does not typically comment on the outcome of the incident.

Pompo said the incident “deeply shook my faith in the justice system” and called it “the most stressful experience of my life.”

Pompo, 2020 car news 40 Winners Under 40, Said car news He founded the reinsurance company with the blessing of former group owner Billy Fuccillo Sr. Pompo said they were discussing the need to bring his salary in line with other executives who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars more a year.

Pompo said he proposed setting up its own reinsurance business to capitalize on the dealer group’s untapped reinsurance potential. He said the profit generated by the reinsurance company would help pay for Pompo’s salary. According to Mr. Pompo, if the company generated a large profit that would unduly increase Mr. Pompo’s compensation, Mr. Pompo would repay the excess to Fuccillo in administrative expenses.

The plan was developed in 2020, before Fuccillo Sr.’s stroke and death in 2021, Pompo said, although Fucillo Automotive president Billy Fuccillo Jr. also knew of the reinsurer. I was.

A grand jury in Jefferson County, New York, indicted Pompo with one count of third-degree grand theft, one count of fourth-degree grand theft, five counts of second-degree forgery, and five counts of first-degree falsification of business records. All are Class D or E felonies.

Pompo said the third-degree grand theft charge “makes sense.” It was related to the fact that he received a $32,000 refund from the reinsurer that “they didn’t prosecute me”. – It was no different from withdrawing money from a bank account.

The state charged Pompo with a fourth-degree grand theft charge based on his refusal to return the company’s laptop and cell phone until the dealer returned his personal items, he said. rice field. But the value of the company’s equipment fell below his $1,000 threshold required for a grand theft charge under New York law, he said. His possession of these items ultimately served as the basis for petty theft charges in today’s repeat of the incident, he said.

Pompo said the charges of forgery and business record related to having full authority to sign documents on behalf of Fuccillo Sr. and Fuccillo Jr. He said the instance in which he exercised that power was presented to a grand jury as a false confession.

Messages left for Fuccillo Jr. and the group’s attorneys have yet to be returned.

All felony charges were eventually dropped by the state and replaced with a single petty theft Class A misdemeanor under a plea bargain that did not require Pompo to plead guilty.

“Their first offer was the one I took,” Pompo said.

Pompo said multiple factors led to his decision to accept the plea bargain, including a desire for normalcy, financial considerations, and even respect for Fuccillo Sr. and his family.

“I just had to move on,” he said.

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