A cooperating witness in former state Sen. Dean Skelos’ federal corruption trial is now in hot water over charges of mismanagement and self-dealing.
Manhasset resident Anthony Bonomo was ousted Thursday from control of Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers, the Roslyn-based company he led as CEO, according to published news reports.
The superintendent of the state Department of Financial Services, Maria Vullo, issued an order saying Bonomo disregarded sound principles when setting loss reserves and tried to cover his tracks by firing auditors and employees who objected.
According to the order, Bonomo, 59, used the company to make donations for his benefit, including more than $130,000 to Adelphi University, which named a baseball field after his father, William J. Bonomo. Donations were also not approved by PRI’s board of governors, as required.
Vullo made the review of PRI one of her top priorities when she took over the department last June, The Albany Times Union reported. Bonomo repeatedly overhauled PRI’s assets while wasting money on unqualified associates, according to the order.
Bonomo was a close friend of Skelos, the Senate’s former Republican majority leader who was convicted in 2015 on federal corruption charges. Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos, who was tried alongside him, are appealing their convictions.
During Skelos’ trial, prosecutors charged that Skelos used his influence over state insurance laws to get Adam Skelos a no-show job at PRI.
Chris Curcio, the head of PRI’s marketing department, testified that Adam Skelos often didn’t come to work and was indignant and threatening when he did show up.
Skelos’ defense team argued that Bonomo gave Adam Skelos the job to help him when his father said he was struggling financially.
PRI in January retained Bruce Shulan, managing partner of the Connecticut-based firm the Princeton Partnership, in an effort to turn around the financially troubled operation, The Times Union reported. Bonomo is said to have abandoned day-to-day management since Shulan’s arrival.
Bonomo made $3 million in salary from Administrators for the Professions, the management company headed by Bonomo that ran PRI.
“We will fight this improper and unauthorized action vigorously through all appropriate legal channels,” a spokesman for Bonomo said in a statement to Newsday.