January 31, 2017
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Sands Point Cardiologist Sentenced For Vicious Assault-for-Hire Plot Against Rival Doctor
Anthony Moschetto kept an arsenal of illegal weapons, set a rival’s office on fire and illegally sold prescription drugs
(MINEOLA, N. Y. - - James Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) New York Division and Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Sands Point cardiologist who conspired to seriously injure a rival doctor was sentenced today to five years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.
Anthony Moschetto, 56, pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice Christopher Quinn on October 25 to one count each of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 1st (a B violent felony), Criminal Sale of a Prescription for a Control (a C felony), Arson in the 3rd (a C felony) and Conspiracy in the 4th (an E felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in satisfaction of a 77-count indictment filed in Oct. 2015.
The NCDA recommended that Moschetto be sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Judge Quinn issued orders of protection for two victims and, at the recommendation of the NCDA, will order that all illegal weapons in the possession of the defendant be destroyed and any legal weapons that were registered to the defendant to be turned over to a federal firearms license holder so that he may no longer possess any weapons.
The sentence will lead to the suspension of his medical license and his DEA-prescribing privileges.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt stated, “DEA’s investigations have led to uncovering heinous crimes but never a wannabe Mafioso in a Doctor’s jacket. By working with the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County District Attorney a deviant scheme was found out and the mastermind identified, arrested and sentenced today.”
“Working with our law enforcement partners, we stopped this plot which could have seriously injured or killed an innocent man, we shut down an illegal pill distribution scheme and halted the trafficking of illegal assault weapons in our County,” DA Singas said. “This defendant was once a respected doctor, but he destroyed his reputation with this despicable, and potentially deadly, plot against a fellow doctor. Our county is much safer with this defendant behind bars.”
Nassau County Commissioner of Police Thomas Krumpter said: “The Nassau County Police dedicated numerous resources to the investigation of this complex plot. I would like to recognize and congratulate all the investigators from numerous agencies and the District Attorney’s Office, all of which did an exemplary job of bringing defendant Dr. Anthony Moschetto to justice.”
DA Singas said that the 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, which started in Dec. 2014, it was discovered that the assault weapons and prescriptions for the pills were originally acquired and transferred to the seller by Moschetto. The defendant sought to pay for the assault of a fellow cardiologist as well the arson of his office, partially through the illegal transfer of prescriptions and weapons.
The investigation included six undercover drug buys from the seller. During this period of time, the drugs sold to undercover detectives included 410 Oxycodone pills.
During the fourth buy, on Feb. 10, 2015, 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, 2015, the seller informed the undercover detective that he needed dynamite to blow up a building. During the sixth buy, on March 12, 2015, 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, 2015, arson that detectives were subsequently able to link to Moschetto. The arson damaged but did not destroy the office of the fellow cardiologist, whose relationship with Moschetto had soured due to a professional dispute.
As the investigation progressed, Moschetto gave blank prescriptions and cash as payments, at one point for the assault and at another point for an assault with intent to cause the victim extreme injury. Moschetto also asked for the assault of his victim’s wife if she was present during the primary assault.
The execution of search warrants on April 14, 2015, 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 defendant was arrested that day.
The defendant admitted in court to providing money for the arson and assault, how and where the assault should take place, information on the intended victims whereabouts and possessing more than ten illegal weapons. In a recorded conversation quoted in court, the defendant said, “I think if you put him in the hospital for a few months I think we are done. If he’s stupid enough to come out after that then you’ll make more money ‘cause then you have to kill him.”
The investigation was conducted by the NCDA’s Rackets and Enterprise Crime Bureau; the NCPD’s Narcotics & Vice Squad and Arson Squad; and the DEA’s Long Island Division Office Tactical Diversion Squad, which consists of agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department and Port Washington Police Department.
Assistant District Attorney George Smit and Deputy Bureau Chief Anne Donnelly of DA Singas’ Rackets and Enterprise Crime Bureau prosecuted the case. Moschetto is represented by Kevin Keating, Esq.