A trash hauler tripped up by a confidential informant, business partner and his former attorney has admitted to his part in a scheme that bilked customers for $2 million.
Stephen DiSalvo, 60, of Ormond Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court on May 11 to one count of grand larceny.
DiSalvo was co-operator of ATNM Corp., a solid waste hauler in Briarcliff Manor. He and his partners, Christopher C. Leggio, 57, and Christopher E. Leggio, 21, both of Brewster, forged dump tickets to make it appear as though they were hauling more waste. Then they billed customers for the higher tonnage.
They altered more than 3,000 dump tickets from 2010 to 2015, according to District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr.
The Leggios previously pleaded guilty to charges for their roles in the scam and are awaiting sentencing.
DiSalvo had been caught in a previous trash hauling fraud when he ran A&S DiSalvo Co. In 2000, he was convicted of commingling garbage from the town of Ossining with garbage from commercial customers and billing the town for the entire loads. He was sentenced to five years probation.
The county Solid Waste Commission then denied him a license.
In 2003, the elder Leggio’s ATNM Corp. bought DiSalvo’s business, including routes, vehicles and equipment, for $730,000. DiSalvo took $20,000 in cash and loaned back $710,000 in exchange for monthly payments of $10,372, according to case documents.
County police and the district attorney began a new investigation in 2014 when a confidential informant told the Solid Waste Commission that ATNM was overbilling Universal Environmental Consulting Inc., a broker hired by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. to remove waste from 27 A&P stores.
Investigators got a court order authorizing them to eavesdrop on four telephone lines. Hundreds of phone calls and fax transmissions were intercepted.
Although DiSalvo lives in Florida, surveillance and travel records showed that he met the elder Leggio in New York about every two weeks.
After Leggio was arrested in 2015, he hired Andrew Quinn, the attorney who had represented DiSalvo in his 2000 case.
“Quinn encouraged Leggio to cooperate with the prosecutors,” according to a court filing by DiSalvo’s current attorney, Murray Richman. “The prosecutor negotiated – and then entered into – a cooperation agreement with Quinn on Leggio’s behalf.”
Richman said Leggio testified against DiSalvo in front of a grand jury.
The grand jury indicted DiSalvo on 40 counts of larceny and forgery, accusing him of stealing more than $20 million from 20 customers.
The A&P subcontract, according to the indictment, brought in more than $1 million in ill-gotten gains. Some other customers who were bilked include BioMed Realty LP, Mack-Cali Realty Corp., Concordia College and Ron Par Construction Corp.
The forged and altered dump tickets were for waste transfer stations operated by Waste Connections Inc. in West Nyack, Covanta Holding Corp. in Mamaroneck and Mount Kisco, City Carting Inc. in Somers, Waste Management of New York in Yonkers and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. in Peekskill.
DiSalvo could be sentenced for up to 15 years in state prison, according to the prosecutor. His next court date is Aug. 16.