A Sands Point cardiologist with a practice in Great Neck, who conspired to kill a rival doctor, pleaded guilty to four counts on Oct. 25 in satisfaction of the 77-count indictment against him, according to Nassau County District Attorney (NCDA) Madeline Singas.
Dr. Anthony Moschetto, 56, pleaded guilty before Supreme Court Justice Christopher Quinn to one count each of first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a prescription for a control substance, third-degree arson and fourth-degree conspiracy. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in satisfaction of the 77-count indictment unsealed in November 2015.
Singas is recommending that Moschetto be sentenced to 12 years in prison, however, Judge Quinn committed to a sentence of five years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.
Quinn issued orders of protection for two victims and, at the recommendation of the NCDA, will order that all illegal weapons in the possession of the defendant be destroyed and any legal weapons that were registered to Moschetto to be turned over to a federal firearms license holder so that he may no longer possess any weapons.
This plea has resulted in the suspension of his medical license and his DEA-prescribing privileges.
Bail was continued at $2 million bond or $1.25 million cash. He is due back for sentencing on December 16.
“In public, Moschetto was a respected member of his community, but in private he collected dangerous assault weapons, illegally sold prescription drugs to fund his arsenal, and plotted to murder another cardiologist over a business disagreement,” Singas said. “Working with the Nassau County Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration, we were able to stop Moschetto’s sordid ambitions before anyone was killed or injured.”
Singas said that the alleged murder-for-hire scheme was discovered when an undercover police investigation involving the purchase of Oxycodone pills led to the additional undercover purchases of two fully loaded assault weapons, as well as the seller’s pursuit of dynamite for the purpose of blowing up a property.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the assault weapons and prescriptions for the pills were originally acquired and transferred to the seller by Moschetto, who sought to pay for the arson of a fellow cardiologist’s office, as well as the murder of the fellow cardiologist, partially through the illegal transfer of prescriptions and the weapons.
The investigation started in December 2014, when the first of six undercover drug buys from the seller was conducted. During this period of time, the drugs sold to undercover detectives included 410 Oxycodone pills.
During the fourth buy on Feb. 10, 2015, an undercover detective purchased one Israeli Military Industries brand Uzi 9-mm semi-automatic assault weapon with a 25-round magazine, one Norinco brand SKS 7.62 x 39 mm semi-automatic assault weapon with a 30-round magazine and ammunition for both. During the second buy of the investigation on Jan. 22, 2015, the seller informed the undercover detective that he needed dynamite to blow up a building. During the sixth buy on March 12, the seller said he no longer needed dynamite because he had a friend set fire to the building instead.
During one of the undercover drug buys, a conversation ensued about a Feb. 25, 2015, arson that detectives were subsequently able to link to Moschetto. The arson damaged but did not destroy the office of the fellow cardiologist, whose relationship with Moschetto had soured due to a professional dispute.
As the investigation progressed, Moschetto gave blank prescriptions and cash as payments, at one point for the assault and at another point for the murder, of the fellow cardiologist. Moschetto also asked for the assault of his victim’s wife if she was present during the primary assault. At the time of Moschetto’s arrest, his instruction reverted back to the commission of an assault against his victim.
The execution of search warrants on April 14, 2015, led to the discovery of a cache of weapons in the doctor’s home, including an AR-15 and an M1 Carbine. Many of the guns and other weapons such as knives were found in a hidden basement room only revealed via a switch-activated moving bookshelf in the doctor’s Sands Point home. The defendant was arrested that day.
At the Oct. 25 hearing, the defendant admitted to providing money for the arson and assault, how and where the assault should take place, information on the intended victims whereabouts and possessing more than 10 illegal weapons.
—Submitted by the Office of the District Attorney Nassau County