November 09, 2015
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Grand Jury Returns 77-Count Indictment Against Nassau Cardiologist For Murder-for-Hire Plot Against Rival Doctor
Anthony Moschetto charged with conspiracy, arson, weapons possession, criminal sale of prescriptions and other charges
MINEOLA, N.Y. - James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement (DEA), New York, Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter, Nassau County Police Department announced the indictment of a cardiologist who allegedly contracted hitmen to kill a competing doctor, in a murder-for-hire conspiracy that included the sale of assault weapons, arson and the criminal sale of prescription drugs.
The defendant was arrested on April 14 after a joint investigation by the DEA’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad and the NCDA, the Nassau County Police Department.
Dr. Anthony Moschetto, 55, of Sands Point, was arraigned today by Nassau County Court of Claims Judge Philip Grella on the following grand jury indictment charges:
· Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 1st (a B violent felony)
· Four counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony)
· Four counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd (a B felony)
· Conspiracy in the 2nd (a B felony)
· Arson in the 3rd (a C felony)
· Thirty-Nine counts of Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Controlled (a C felony)
· Four counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 3rd (a D violent felony)
· Two counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the 3rd (a D violent felony)
· Burglary in the 3rd ( D felony)
· Criminal Mischief in the 2nd (a D felony)
· Two counts of Criminal Solicitation in the 2nd (a D felony)
· Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony)
· Fourteen counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th (an A misdemeanor)
· Two counts of Criminal Solicitation in the 4th (an A misdemeanor)
Bail was continued at $2 million bond or $1.25 million cash. The defendant, who pleaded not guilty, is due back in court Dec. 9. If convicted on the top charge, Moschetto faces up to 25 years in prison.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Investigations focused on prescription drug traffickers have dramatically increased over the past ten years. As the investigations increased, we have seen an escalation of crimes associated with the diversion of prescription drugs. No longer do we see simple drug diversion, but we see criminal organizations selling diverted pills on the street; an increase in Medicaid fraud; and similar to this case, a rise of violent crimes.”
“The defendant was a respected member of the community, caring for patients in Nassau County, but allegedly he had a sinister side and ordered the death of a rival cardiologist,” Acting DA Singas said. “Working with our partners in the NCPD and DEA, we were able to break up this complex murder-for-hire plot before someone was killed.”
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of an extensive investigation that was worked on collaboratively with the Nassau County Police Department, the Nassau County DA’s Office and the DEA,” said Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter. “Protecting the public is our number one priority and bringing this dangerous defendant to justice was of the utmost importance.”
Acting DA Singas said that the alleged murder for hire scheme was discovered when an undercover police investigation involving the purchase of Oxycodone pills led to the additional undercover purchases of two fully loaded assault weapons, as well as the seller’s pursuit of dynamite for the purpose of blowing up a property. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the assault weapons and prescriptions for the pills were originally acquired and transferred to the seller by Dr. Moschetto, who sought to pay for the arson of a fellow cardiologist’s office, as well as the murder of the fellow cardiologist, partially through the illegal transfer of prescriptions and the weapons.
The investigation started in December 2014, when the first of six undercover drug buys from the seller was conducted. During this period of time, the drugs sold to undercover detectives included 410 Oxycodone pills. During the fourth buy, on Feb. 10, an undercover detective purchased one Israeli Military Industries brand Uzi 9-mm semi-automatic assault weapon with a 25-round magazine, one Norinco brand SKS 7.62 x 39 mm semi-automatic assault weapon with a 30-round magazine, and ammunition for both.
During the second buy of the investigation, on Jan. 22, the seller informed the undercover detective that he needed dynamite to blow up a building. During the sixth buy, on March 12, the seller said he no longer needed dynamite because he had a friend set fire to the building instead.
During one of the undercover drug buys, a conversation ensued about a Feb. 25 arson that detectives were subsequently able to link to Dr. Moschetto. The arson damaged but did not destroy the office of the fellow cardiologist, whose relationship with Dr. Moschetto had soured due to a professional dispute.
As the investigation progressed, Dr. Moschetto gave blank prescriptions and cash as payments, at one point for the assault and at another point for the murder, of the fellow cardiologist. Dr. Moschetto also asked for the assault of his victim’s wife if she was present during the primary assault. At the time of Dr. Moschetto’s arrest, his instruction reverted back to the commission of an assault against his victim.
The execution of search warrants on April 14 led to the discovery of a cache of weapons in the doctor’s home, including an AR-15 and an M1 Carbine. Many of the guns and other weapons such as knives were found in a hidden basement room only revealed via a switch-activated, moving bookshelf in the doctor’s Sands Point home.
The investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s Long Island Division Office Tactical Diversion Squad and the NCDA’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau; the NCPD’s Narcotics & Vice Squad and Arson Squad. The DEA Long Island Division Office Tactical Diversion Squad is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department and Port Washington Police Department.
Co-defendant James Kalamaras, 41, was indicted in April on charges of Arson in the 3rd (a C felony), Burglary in the 3rd (a D felony) and Criminal Mischief in the 2nd (a D felony). The case of co-defendant James Chmela, 44, is in Waive to Grand Jury status and no future court date is available.
Assistant District Attorney George Smit is prosecuting the case with Deputy Bureau Chief Anne Donnelly of Acting DA Singas’ Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau. Moschetto is represented by Kevin Keating, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.