Hempstead Town Councilman Edward Ambrosino was arrested March 31 and charged with eight counts of wire fraud, tax evasion, making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns, and failing to file a return or pay tax, according to an indictment released March 31 by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ambrosino, 52, a resident of North Valley Stream, diverted over $800,000 in revenue from his former employer and failed to pay $250,00 in federal tax, the indictment stated.
A member of the Hempstead Town Board since 2003, Ambrosino has been special counsel to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano since 2010, and is a former counsel to the Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek. Additionally, he founded the Vanderbilt Consulting Group Inc. and was its sole shareholder.
From 2013 to 2015, officials allege, Ambrosino deposited $800,000 in legal fees paid to Ruskin Moscou Faltischek by the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency and the Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corporation, among other clients, into the Vanderbilt bank account.
According to the indictment, Ambrosino also evaded substantial income taxes and filed fraudulent corporate tax returns for Vanderbilt in 2011, 2012 and 2013 through various actions such as deducting rent expenses for a Manhattan apartment used by an unidentified third party. The indictment claims that the IRS lost nearly $255,000 as a result.
Town spokesman Mike Deery declined comment, and Ambrosino’s lawyer, Dennis Lemke, could not be reached by press time.
Ambrosino’s LinkedIn profile also lists him as owner of Blue Rhino Capital LLC, and as counsel to Rivkin Radler LLC.
If convicted, Ambrosino faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge, five years for each charge of tax evasion, three years for each charge of making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns, and one year for failing to file a tax return. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Catherine Mirabile and Raymond Tierney.
“It’s very sad to hear, and if the accusations are true, it’s very disappointing,” said Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead Community Support Association. Ambrosino, Norton said, was instrumental in ridding the community of the Courtesy Hotel, long plagued by prostitution and drugs. Ambrosino, a real estate lawyer, discovered that Trammel Crow, a real estate developer, was interested in coming into Nassau County, Norton said. He connected the owners of the Courtesy with Trammel Crow, which later bought the property, tore down the hotel and built luxury condominiums.
Ambrosino represents the town’s Second Councilmatic District, which includes Bellerose Terrace, Floral Park, Garden City, Garden City South, the incorporated area of New Hyde Park, Salisbury, South Floral Park, Stewart Manor and portions of Bellerose, East Meadow, Elmont, Franklin Square, Hempstead, Uniondale and West Hempstead.
Arraigned on March 31 in the U.S. District Court in Central Islip, Ambrosino pleaded “not guilty” and was released the same day on $250,000 bail. His next court date is May 5.