Syracuse Suburban Airport Co-Owner Charged and Convicted for Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud
On July 24, 2014, David Pizio, an owner of Syracuse Suburban Airport (SSA), Hastings, NY, was charged and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, New York. He pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud for conspiring to defraud a commercial bank of approximately $222,000 in connection with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airport property development grants.
SSA had purchased 93 acres in Hastings, New York, designated by the FAA, to be a reliever airport for the Syracuse International Airport, Syracuse, New York. Between 2004 and 2009, SSA received five FAA grants totaling $2.97 million to be used for planning and development of the reliever airport. SSA had established a line of credit from First Niagara Bank (FNB) through which loan proceeds, reimbursable by the FAA grants, were to be used solely for airport expenditures. Pizio and co-conspirators had devised a scheme to submit false and fraudulent invoices to FNB for the release of loan proceeds to purportedly pay for airport equipment when, in reality, approximately $125,000 was diverted to an unrelated real estate project in Texas and approximately $97,000 was diverted to an unrelated bean factory, owned by a co-conspirator in upstate New York.
We are conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.