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Mystic Tank Lines owner, others charged in fuel theft

Leonard Baldari Jr, the owner of Mystic Tank Lines Corp, Astoria NY, has been charged with stealing tens of millions of gallons of fuel oil, reselling it, and then laundering the sale proceeds. Also charged in the June 19 indictments is Michael David Hiller, Mystic Oil treasurer, according to information from the Web site of the United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York. .

In a separate indictment July 19, the owner of T&S Trucking Corp, Brooklyn NY, Totino Solimine, was charged with similar thefts. A T&S employee, Eston Clare, the company's office manager, also was charged in connection with the incidents, the information said.

No information about the current operation status of Mystic Tank was immediately available. Employees contacted by Bulk Transporter July 20 at Mystic headquarters declined to comment.

The indictments allege that Baldari and Hiller, beginning as early as 1990, and Solimine and Clare, beginning as early as 2000, stole heating oil by directing their truck drivers to hold back portions of oil from retail customers, who were fraudulently billed for a full delivery. The defendants allegedly then sold the stolen oil to other oil retailers, primarily for cash payments, according to the information.

The indictments charge that Baldari and Hiller received approximately $50 million from the sale of stolen heating oil, and Solimine and Clare received approximately $25 million, according to the US Attorney's information.

Earlier on July 19, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at seven locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and New Jersey, and seized more than 34 Mystic Oil and T&S tanker trucks, according to the information.

The defendants face penalties, if convicted, of maximum prison sentences of 30 years and fines equal to twice their pecuniary (financial) gains. The indictments also seek $72 million in forfeiture, according to the information.

To see the US Attorney's news release in its entirety, click here.

TAGS: Tank Fleets
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