NEW YORK (AP) — New York City officials say nine companies and 44 individuals have been indicted following a long-term investigation into widespread fraud in the heating oil business.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and other officials announced the indictments Tuesday.
The authorities say that for nine years the defendants shorted oil deliveries but charged customers full price. They say in some cases they then sold the stolen oil at below-market costs.
The dozens of customers included city courthouses and schools as well as churches and residential apartment buildings.
Among those charged include 29 truck drivers, fuel depot dispatchers and company owners. Officials say they installed bypass valves on tanker trucks to rig meters.
Rocco Lacertosa of the New York Oil Heating Association says most industry employees are honest and hardworking.