NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Residents in the tony Davenport Neck section of New Rochelle overlooking Long Island Sound were startled last week to find federal agents and local police encircling the home of one of their neighbors. It was the second time in 9 years that the feds had served an early morning wake up call at 57 Kensington Oval.
Anthony Piliero, 57, of New Rochelle, NY and John Bizzarro, 47, of Hollywood, FL were arrested last Tuesday morning and arraigned later that day before Judge Debra Freeman in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on one count each of Wire Fraud Conspiracy, Wire Fraud and Obstruction of Justice.
The pair stand accused of a classic “bust out”, a common tactic in the organized crime world where a business’ assets and lines of credit are exploited and exhausted to the point of bankruptcy (see Soprano’s Season 2, Episode 10)
Piliero was released on $500,000 personal recognizance bond. He was required to turn over his passport and his travel outside the Southern District of New York was restricted. There will be a Preliminary Hearing in the case on August 17, 2018.
Federal agents from the United States Attorney General’s Office, accompanied by officers from the New Rochelle Police Department, surrounded Piliero’s home on Davenport Neck in New Rochelle and arrested him at 6:10 a.m. on July 17th, according to court records.
On April 30, 2009, Piliero was arrested at the same location by federal agents on murder for hire charges. He was accused of conspiring with Joseph Barone, a member of the Genovese crime family who operated as an FBI informant for 18 years. According to the indictment, Piliero had a one million dollar life insurance policy on a former employee. Piliero was alleged to have contacted Barone in 2008 to arrange a hit on Douglas Agnessanto, the former employee. A year later, on July 29, 2010, the court declared a mistrial on the Murder for Hire Conspiracy count and not guilty on the Murder for Hire count.
According to the federal indictment filed last week, since 2012 until the present, Anthony Piliero and John Bizzarro devised a scheme to loot a private ambulance company, Access Ambulette Services, Inc., defraud its creditors and steal its assets:
“The defendants worked together to take control of Access Ambulette and defraud its prior owners and creditors by stripping the company of its cash and other assets, obligating the company with debts that they did not intend to repay, and not paying the previous owners for the purchase of the company as agreed, effectuating and covering up their scheme using other entities that they controlled and by causing the filing of false affidavits with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in a civil case brought by one of Access Ambulette’s creditors, and in connection therewith and in furtherance thereof, transmitted and caused to be transmitted interstate electronic mail, telephone calls, and wire transfers of funds.”
The indictment also alleges that Piliero and Bizzarro caused the filing of false affidavits in the case of Travelers Indemnity Company v. Access Ambulette Service, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Between June 2012 to the present, Piliero and Bizzarro worked together in a complex scheme to take control of Access Ambulette.
Access Ambulette, headquartered in the Bronx, was incorporated in New York State on February 21, 1985 by a husband and wife, listed in the court records only as Victim-1 and Victim-1’s husband. In November 2012, Bizarro began to assist Victim-1’s husband with the operations of Access Ambulette. On August 23, 2011, Witness-1, the daughter of Victim-1 and her husband, became directors of Access Ambulette. On August 24, 2011, Victim-1’s husband died. Upon his death, Victim-1 took sole ownership of Access Ambulette.
Before Victim-1’s husband died, Bizarro offered to buy the company. The offer was refused. After Victim-1’s husband died Bizarro offered to assist Victim-1 and Witness-1 with the management of the business.
Piliero and Bizarro used shell companies as part of the scheme.
In 1993, Bizzarro registered a company called “Evenflow Transportation” in the name of his wife. On July 27, 2011, Evenflow Transportation was dissolved. In 2005, a New York corporation called “EF Management” was registered under the name of Bizzarro’s, apparently related entities.
On June 22, 2012, an entity called KGB Holdings purchased Access Ambulette in a sale arranged by Bizarro. Anthony Piliero signed a sales contract on behalf of KGB Holdings. Bizzarro told Victim-1 that she was selling Access Ambulette to Piliero and that Piliero would pay her for the company later. After the purchase the company was relocated from the Bronx to Mount Vernon, NY. Neither Victim-1 or Witness-1 ever received any money from Piliero for the sale of Access Ambulette to Piliero.
Ten days later, on July 12, 2012, Bizarro submitted a commercial insurance application to Travelers on behalf of Access Ambulance. Travelers issued a policy for 36 vehicles. At the time, Access Ambulette only owned 4 vehicles. Attempts by Travelers to collect premium payments were unsuccessful. The policy was cancelled on February 17, 2013 with a balance due of $184,422. Travelers sued Access Ambulette and Victim-1 in August 2, 2013 for among other things the amount due.
On August 13, 2012, Piliero opened two small business checking accounts with an unnamed bank. On December 13, 2012, Piliero opened two bank accounts at a second unnamed bank in Mamaroneck, NY. EF Management and Evenflow Transportation both had bank accounts at the first bank. Access Ambulette also had a bank account at the second bank.
The indictment alleges that the purpose of the EF account was to funnel money from Access Ambulette accounts to Evenflow Accounts. Between July 2012 and October 2012, approximately $450,000 in cash and approximately $175,000 and checks were deposited into the EF Account. During this period, approximately $500,000 in checks were written from the EF Account to the Evenflow Account.
In January 19, 2013, the second bank granted Access Ambulette a $26,031 business loan with Victim-1 signing the loan documents with the help of Witness-1 (the mother and daughter of the original owner). On September 26, 2014, the bank foreclosed on the loan. Because Victim-1 had a personal account at the bank, approximately $3,000 was removed from her account as partial payment for the loan.
As the Travelers lawsuit proceeded in federal court, Piliero filed two affidavits, one for himself and one for Victim-1. Piliero’s attorney stated that Piliero provided all of the information contained in the affidavits because Victim-1 did not speak English. Piliero placed Victim-1’s signature on Victim-1’s affidavit. Victim-1 stated that she never signed the Victim-1 affidavit. The two affidavits contained numerous false statements about when Piliero began his association with Access Ambulance, when Victim-1’s husband died, and the role of EF Management. On September 19, 2016, a default judgment was entered in favor of Travelers against Access Ambulette for $241,791.97.
In a series of email exchanges between Bizzarro and Witness-1, Bizzarro and Piliero and Bizzarro and a woman living with Bizzarro, there are discussions about the affidavits and Bizzarro instructing Witness-1 how to deceive an attorney regarding the affidavit signed by Victim-1.
On December 7, 2011, Piliero registered an ambulette business in Hollywood,
Florida called “Miracle Transportation Services.” Several ambulates that were previously owned by Access Ambulette are currently registered to Miracle Transportation Services, registered to Anthony Piliero. On April 12, 2018, law enforcement agents travelled to the business location of Miracle Transportation Services in Hollywood, Florida and observed three vehicles previously registered to Access Ambulette parked near Miracle Transportation Services. Also on April 12, 2008, law enforcement agents observed John Bizzarro exit his home in Hollywood, Florida and enter a red Ford van parked in his driveway, a van curren tly registered to Miracle Transportation Services of South Florida, Inc. but previously registered to Access Ambulette.