Former Hempstead official convicted of defrauding lender and stealing $ 59,000, says DA


A former Long Island public servant was convicted of stealing $ 59,000 and scamming a commercial lender into giving him more than $ 1 million in loans.

John Novello, the former deputy commissioner of the city of Hempstead’s buildings department, was sentenced Thursday, September 30, to five years probation, Nassau County Acting Prosecutor Joyce Smith said.

The 53-year-old Hewlett Harbor man also paid $ 41,000 in restitution to the Nassau County Republican Committee.

Novello pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree robbery on Friday July 23.

“As a civil servant and political party leader, John Novello was tasked with serving the people of Hempstead and leading his Republican club, but instead he used donor funds as a personal piggy bank and started a bogus business. to defraud a lender by giving him a million. dollar loan, ”Smith said.

Between January 2016 and August 2019, Novello withdrew more than $ 20,000 from the Cedarhurst Republican Committee campaign bank account for his personal use, Smith said. At the time, he was the executive head of the committee.

He also stole over $ 37,000 in donations that were made to fundraising for the committee’s golf tournament and the Mayor’s Cup in 2018 and 2019, Smith said.

The prosecutor’s office said Novello spent the stolen money on “mortgage payments, a trip to a cellar, luxury candy, entertainment, gasoline, restaurants and groceries.”

Novello also made false statements between August 2017 and March 2019 about the business loan applications he used to buy and renovate his home in Hewlett Harbor, Smith said.

He started a limited liability company that had no legitimate business purpose to get loans over $ 1 million from a commercial lender.

The prosecutor’s office said Novello had signed affidavits claiming the property would be used as investment property and not as a home.

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