DA Vance Announces Guilty Plea of Heating Oil Company Owner for Directing Multimillion-Dollar Shorting Scheme


October 27, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of GABRIEL NORTESANO, 53, the owner of G&D PETROLEUM TRANSPORTATION, INC. (“G&D”) and G&D HEATING OIL, for overseeing and engaging in a scheme to defraud thousands of residential, commercial, and municipal customers throughout New York City by shorting heating oil deliveries and reselling the stolen surplus to co-conspirators. The defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Enterprise Corruption and is expected to be sentenced on February 7, 2017. To date, more than 15 defendants indicted in connection with the investigation have pleaded guilty to related crimes and more than $7.4 million has been ordered in restitution, fines, and forfeiture. 

“As temperatures begin to drop, New Yorkers rely on retailers and fuel transportation companies like G&D to deliver the heating oil that keeps themselves and their families warm,” said District Attorney Vance. “Gabriel Nortesano directed a scheme to defraud New York City residents, building owners, and taxpayers of millions of gallons of heating oil, which he sold for significant profit on the black market. I thank our partners at the NYPD, Business Integrity Commission, Department of Investigation, Department of Consumer Affairs, and Department of Taxation and Finance for their remarkable collaboration in this case and other cases as part of an effort to shut down industry-wide fraud.”

As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea, between September 2006 and April 2014, NORTESANO and his transportation company, G&D, were hired to deliver millions of gallons of heating oil to thousands of residential, commercial, and municipal properties throughout New York City. As the owner of the company, NORTESANO employed several separately convicted co-defendants as drivers and outfitted G&D delivery trucks with drop hoses and bypass valves that enabled the drivers to divert oil back into the delivery truck’s tank, shorting certain customers of full deliveries while allowing G&D drivers to print out falsified delivery tickets for completed orders. As part of the scheme, NORTESANO advised G&D drivers on how much heating oil to short customers at specific delivery addresses, obtained information about locations that were easier to defraud than others, and tipped complicit terminal dispatchers for sending G&D drivers to those locations. NORTESANO compensated the drivers based on how many gallons of oil they stole.

Over a five-month period, NORTESANO and drivers for G&D stole more than a million gallons of heating oil from customers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The defendant also profited from the resale of stolen oil, and between February 2010 and December 2013, the defendant sold more than 800,000 gallons of stolen heating oil through another company the defendant owned, G&D HEATING OIL, and to other companies in the industry, for a profit of approximately $2 million. 

To date, of the nine companies and more than 40 individuals indicted in connection with the investigation in November 2015, more than 15 defendants have pleaded guilty to related crimes and more than $7.4 million has been ordered in restitution, fines, and forfeiture. 

Assistant District Attorney Anne Ternes handled the prosecution of the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Jerrold Steigman and former Assistant District Attorney Thomas Mooney, Senior Investigative Counsel to the Rackets Bureau, and under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Ohm, Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Judy Salwen, Principal Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Jodie Kane, Chief of the Rackets, Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael R. Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. The asset forfeiture case was handled by Assistant District Attorney Madeleine Guilmain, with the assistance of Administrative Assistant Jennifer Johnson and Investigative Analyst Michael Luongo, and under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Lynn Goodman, Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Unit. The following individuals also provided valuable assistance with the case: Principal Financial Investigator Michael Kelly; Analyst William Stramezzi; Associate Financial Investigator Daniel McNichol; IT Analyst Olivia Savell; Paralegals Alexandra Oviedo, Kyle Tramonte, and Madeleine Ayer; and Transcription Analyst Olivia Sitbon.

District Attorney Vance also thanked the following agencies and individuals for their assistance with the investigation: the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Investigation Division, and in particular, Detectives William Martin and Biagio Santangelo; the Business Integrity Commission, and in particular, Investigator Dominick Albergo, Deputy Commissioner of Investigation Christopher Mahon, and Director of Audit Sarah Nasir; the Department of Consumer Affairs, and in particular, Director of Petroleum Enforcement Division John Browne and Inspector Armando Sosa; the Department of Investigation, and in particular, Special Investigator Meredith Stroble; and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and in particular, Tax Auditor Hui Qing Cheu.

Defendant Information:

GABRIEL NORTESANO, D.O.B. 3/22/1963 
Staten Island, NY

Convicted:
•    Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count

G&D PETROLEUM TRANSPORTATION, INC.
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:
•    Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count

G&D HEATING OIL INC. d/b/a “NEW YORK LIBERTY”
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:
•    Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count