Ambrosino tax evasion trial set for February 2019

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Hempstead Town Councilman Edward Ambrosino's tax-evasion trial is set to start on Feb. 25. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

A  federal judge in Central Islip has set Hempstead Town Councilman Edward Ambrosino’s tax evasion trial to tentatively begin on Feb. 25.

The Republican councilman, whose district includes the Village of Floral Park and part of New Hyde Park, is charged with wire fraud and income tax evasion.

Court documents allege that Ambrosino neglected to report $800,000 of the $1.3 million he made while working for two government agencies to the Uniondale-based law firm, not named in the indictment, he worked at.

Ambrosino allegedly deposited the $800,000 into a shell company under the name Vanderbilt Bank Account, according to the indictment.

The indictment also alleges Ambrosino made false deductions and understated income on his corporate and federal tax returns, skirting more than $245,000 in taxes over three years.

Ambrosino has served on the Town Board since 2003. He worked at the law firm from 2001 to 2015, though the alleged tax-evasion occurred from 2010 to 2015, according to court documents.

The two agencies named in the indictment are the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency and the Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corp.

Ambrosino was required to forward all legal fees he received from non-law firm clients to the law firm, and was paid 15 percent of those fees collected on top of his $200,000 salary, according to court documents.

The indictment alleges that Ambrosino did not report the payments he received from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency and the Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corporation to the firm between 2010 and 2012.

The indictment also alleges that Ambrosino created a bank account under the name Vanderbilt Bank Account in September for which he was the sole authorized signer.

Ambrosino allegedly deposited more than $800,000 from the $1.3 million he received from the government agencies into the Vanderbilt account rather than submitting the payments to the firm, according to the indictment.

Ambrosino has pleaded not guilty, according to Newsday.

During a hearing Thursday, Ambrosino’s attorney, James Druker of Garden City, said the law firm was not entitled to the money, according to Newsday.

Druker said the situation involved a business dispute, not a crime, according to Newsday.

Efforts to reach Druker were unavailing.

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