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Posted on: September 30, 2021

Former Deputy Comm. for Hempstead Buildings Dept. Sentenced for Stealing $59K from Republican Cmte.

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John Novello was also sentenced in a separate commercial loan scheme to finance renovations on his family home

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith announced that the former Deputy Commissioner for the Town of Hempstead Buildings Department was sentenced today for stealing more than $59,000 from the Cedarhurst Republican Committee, and in a separate matter, charges he made false representations to a commercial lender to secure more than $1 million in loans that he used to finance the purchase and remodeling of his family home.  

John Novello, 53, of Hewlett Harbor, pled guilty on July 23, 2021 before Judge Teresa Corrigan to two counts of grand larceny in the second degree (a C felony). Novello was sentenced today to five years of probation. Novello also paid restitution in the amount of $41,000 to the Nassau County Republican Committee.

“As public official and political party leader, John Novello was entrusted with serving the people of Hempstead and leading his Republican club, but instead he used donor funds as his personal piggy bank and made a fake company to scam a lender into giving him a million dollar loan,” Acting DA Smith said. “We have no tolerance for abuses like these in Nassau County, and because of this prosecution, he will be held accountable for these criminal betrayals of trust.”

Acting DA Smith said that from January 2016 to August 2019, Novello, then a Deputy Commissioner for the Town of Hempstead Buildings Department and former Executive Leader of the Cedarhurst Republican Committee, withdrew more than $20,000 in cash from the Committee’s campaign bank account for personal use. 

The defendant withdrew cash from the account more than 40 times in amounts of up to $2,000.  Novello, the only signatory on the Committee’s account, then deposited some of the cash into his personal and business bank accounts.

Additionally, Novello stole more than $37,000 from donations to the committee’s annual golf tournament fundraiser and the Mayor’s Cup in 2018 and 2019. Novello transferred a total of more than $22,000 from the 2018 Mayor’s Cup donations and more than $15,000 from the 2019 Mayor’s Cup donations to personal and business bank accounts. 

Novello spent the money on home mortgage payments, a trip to a winery, luxury candies, entertainment, gas, restaurants and groceries.

In total, Novello stole more than $59,000 from the Cedarhurst Republican Committee. Campaign finance records show that this committee has failed to report any of their expenditures or donations as required by law.

In a separate matter, between August 2017 and March 2019, Novello made false statements on applications for commercial loans that he ultimately used to purchase and renovate his primary residence in Hewlett Harbor. 

Novello created a limited liability corporation with no legitimate business purpose in order to secure loans for more than $1 million from the commercial lender and signed affidavits swearing that the property he was purchasing was an investment property exclusively, and that neither he nor his family would be using the property as a residence.  

Despite making these statements, Novello used the funds he received to finance the purchase and remodeling of his permanent home. Novello also used funds stolen from the Cedarhurst Republican Committee to pay this mortgage. The commercial lender does not finance consumer loans and only granted the loan to Novello because of the representations he made.  

Deputy Chief Robert Cavallo of the Public Corruption Bureau and Deputy Chief Joe Gim of the County Court Trial Bureau prosecuted this case. The defendant is represented by Jerald S. Carter, Esq.


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