OYSTER BAY - The former Town of Oyster Bay planning commissioner was sentenced to 27 months in prison for tax evasion.
Prior sentencing days were twice delayed for Fred Ippolito, 77, who took a plea deal earlier this year. The government contended he owed taxes on over $2 million – money that was paid to him by an outside company, Liza Construction, while Ippolito was awarding tens of millions of dollars' worth of construction contracts to Liza and other firms.
Federal Judge Leonard Wexler chastised Ippolito and the Town of Oyster Bay for not taking action even though Ippolito disclosed his outside income to the town Ethics Board.
"This was an obvious conflict of interest and nobody did a thing," said Wexler. "Three lawyers on the town Ethics Board never reported it or objected to it to this day."
Wexler sentenced Ippolito, who uses a wheelchair, to a federal prison hospital in Massachusetts. The sentencing is more than the 18 to 24 months recommended when he pleaded guilty in January.
"What I said to the court today is you should not enhance the sentence of one person based upon the acts of others, and that's what I'm concerned happened today," said defense attorney Brian Griffin.
Wexler order Ippolito to surrender at federal court in Central Islip on Oct. 28 to begin his prison term. He will also be paying $548,000 in restitution.
The Town of Oyster Bay and Liza Construction had no comment for News 12 Long Island about Ippolito's sentencing.