Tags Posts tagged with "Indictment"


Suffolk County Legislator William "Doc" Spencer. File photo

Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) was indicted Nov. 8. The indictment includes drug and prostitution-related charges. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Spencer, 54, who is currently serving as legislator for the 18th District, was arrested Oct. 20, 2020. According to police, authorities had arranged a sting operation, and the Centerport resident allegedly planned, via text message, to meet a prostitute, who was an undercover agent, in the parking lot behind the Goodwill store in Elwood to trade sex for the pills. Spencer was allegedly found with two oxycodone pills, a legal form of opioid, in his possession.

According to a press release from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the county legislator is also facing charges for allegedly filing false information in a police report. In the report, he claimed to be a victim of an extortion scheme involving prostitution.

The charges include criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree; criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree; tampering with public records in the first degree; falsifying business records in the first degree; offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree; perjury in the second degree; making an apparently sworn false statement in the first degree; patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree; and attempted patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree.

“Following his arrest, my office conducted an extensive, thorough investigation in collaboration with our law enforcement partners, which resulted in this grand jury indictment,” District Attorney Tim Sini (D) said. “Investigators found that multiple women had allegedly been paid in either cash or drugs for sex acts with the defendant over the course of several years, as corroborated by text message exchanges and other evidence.”

According to the DA’s office, in July of 2020, Spencer filed a complaint with the Suffolk County Police Department. In the complaint, he said he had been the victim of an extortion scheme. In a written statement to detectives he said, “I have not sought the services of prostitutes or call girls.”

After his October 2020 arrest, he agreed to the suspension of his medical license “during the pendency of the case,” according to the DA’s office. Spencer is a physician who operated a private medical practice in Huntington and was also chief of otolaryngology at Huntington Hospital. He is married and has three children.

On Nov. 8, he was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Dec. 8. He faces a nine-year maximum sentence in prison if convicted of the top charge. Attorney Anthony LaPinta, of Hauppauge, is representing Spencer.

LaPinta said the indictment wasn’t a surprise.

“We were all aware of the investigation and the witness involved,” the attorney said, adding his office has been doing its own investigation.

“Up to now, there’s been only the prosecutor’s version of the facts,” LaPinta said. “There’s a different side to these facts that we will in time come out with.”

Spencer, who has served nearly 10 years as county legislator and was Democratic majority leader and chairman of the legislative health committee, decided not to run for reelection this year. Town of Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson ran on the Democratic ticket for the district but lost the race to Republican Stephanie Bontempi.


Updated Nov. 10 to included quotes from Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini and Spencer’s attorney Anthony LaPinta.


Photo from Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

An East Setauket man faces a multicount indictment for allegedly receiving more than $400,000 through insurance fraud.

On Feb. 28, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini’s (D) office announced the unsealing of a 70-count indictment against former health care worker Joseph Basile, 50. It is alleged he fraudulently received more than $400,000 through a health insurance fraud scheme where he would file claims for unperformed procedures and list a former employer, a colorectal surgeon, on the forms.

“This was an act of pure greed,” Sini said. “He used his knowledge of the health care insurance system to illegally pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars, money that would have otherwise been used to care for people who were sick and in need.”

Basile was charged with insurance fraud in the first degree, three counts of health care fraud in the second degree, two counts of grand larceny in the second degree, health care fraud in the third degree, grand larceny in the third degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and 60 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree.

Basile was employed as an office manager for a private health care practice by a colorectal surgeon in Port Jefferson before the practice closed in 2013, according to the DA’s office. From January 2014 through July 2016, Basile allegedly fraudulently filed insurance claims for medical procedures, including colorectal surgeries, to Empire BlueCross BlueShield in excess of $3.8 million on behalf of himself and others, listing his former employer as the provider. The medical procedures had not been performed.

Basile then allegedly forged the signature of his former employer and deposited the checks into his own account. The more than $400,000 received was paid by both the insurance company and John T. Mather Hospital.

The former health care worker also allegedly filed fraudulent insurance claims on behalf of another individual whose health care is provided through Teamsters Local 1205’s welfare fund, according to Sini’s office. Basile allegedly stole more than $3,000 from the fund by filing false health care insurance claims.

Basile was released on $5,000 bond and is due back in court March 12. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison.

He is being represented by Legal Aid of Suffolk County attorney Kathleen Evers who could not be reached for comment.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, above, said Winston Rose and his brother Uriel Rose purchased drugs from Robert Maldonado for $3.50 per bag — a full dollar cheaper than last year’s whole sale price. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Suffolk County police, alongside the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor of New York City, united to bust a heroin ring operating on Long Island, officials announced on Wednesday.

A wiretap investigation, conducted by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and county police narcotics unit, lead to the arrests and indictment of 14 individuals involved in the ring, including alleged leaders Winston Rose, 35, of Deer Park and his brother, Uriel Rose, 31, of Bay Shore. Residents from Rocky Point, Coram and Northport were also charged.

According to District Attorney Tom Spota, between the months of April and May, Robert Maldonado, 28, of the Bronx, allegedly delivered more than 20,000 bags of heroin from the borough to the Rose brothers on Long Island. Kenny Gonzalez, of Bay Shore, also supplied the brothers with heroin for their drug operation.

“The source of the heroin that we see flowing into Suffolk is primarily coming from the City of New York and more often than not, from the Bronx,” Spota said following the arraignments on Wednesday.

The Rose brothers were indicted for operating as major traffickers, as investigators claim they sold heroin and cocaine in Suffolk communities and elsewhere from around Dec. 4, 2014 to June 4, 2015. The brothers sold around 325 to 500 bags daily for $10.

Phil Murphy, the attorney representing Winston Rose, said he did not see an issue with his client’s business when he visited. He also said his client had rental property and rented available gyms among other materials for the business.

Calls to attorneys for Uriel Rose, Maldonado and Gonzalez were not immediately returned.

Winston Rose was on parole for possession of a weapon at the time of his arrest. In addition, he has nine prior felony and misdemeanor convictions while his brother has six prior misdemeanor convictions. Four of these convictions were for drugs.

According to Spota, the brothers posed as businessmen and allegedly used an event and catering business based out of Deer Park as a front to peddle drugs.

The brothers, as well as Desiree Dietz, 33, of Rocky Point; Emily Ruiz, 24, of Deer Park; Daniel Demaio, 23, of Northport; James Lantero, 41, of Bay Shore; Edward Molewski, 47, of East Islip; Charles Hennings, 41 of Coram and Dillon Noseda, 26, of Northport were arraigned in Riverhead as well. The individuals, along with five others, have been charged with conspiracy in the second degree, a Class B felony in the state of New York.

Noseda is accused of being a major seller of heroin in the Village of Northport and the surrounding communities. Ian Fitzgerald, Noseda’s attorney, said his client denied being a major seller in the case. In a phone interview, he said his client only knew Winston Rose for about two months.

Attorney information for Dietz, Ruiz, Demaio, Lantero, Molewski, and Hennings was unavailable.

“Somebody and some day they are all going to know that they’re never going to see the light of day if they’re convicted,” Spota said.

Bail for Winston Rose was set at $3 million cash or $6 million bond, while Uriel Rose’s bail was set at $2 million cash, or $4 million bond.

If convicted as major traffickers, the Rose’s face a minimum sentence of 15 to 25 years, to a maximum life sentence, according to Spota.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said solving individual cases such as this case, might not “end the crisis,” but have a significant local impact.

According to Special Agent James Hunt, of the DEA, heroin related deaths have increased 172 percent from 2003 to 2013.

Spota attributes their success to the collaborative efforts of all law enforcement officials who were involved. Brennan agreed and said that collaboration will help overcome the distribution of heroin.

“We are now facing a huge heroin problem,” she said. “The only way to beat it is the way we’re doing it. Step by step case by case joining hands and not just us alone but with the collaboration of many others.”