New York heating companies busted in major fuel scheme
Schools, police precincts and hospitals are just some of the victims in what police are calling a massive heating oil and fuel fraud scheme in New York City.
Police say multiple agencies are involved in the investigation and that three of the companies charged are from the Bronx.
Officials say charges have been filed against F and S Distribution, Casanova Fuel Oil and Express Petroleum.
The companies allegedly bilked consumers of hundreds of millions of dollars.
They say drivers would deliver less oil than receipts showed to customers, then allegedly sell the rest of the heating oil on the black market where it was purchased by other companies and customers.
The scam targeted residential, commercial and municipal customers, according to investigators.
They say more arrests are possible as the investigation continues.
Officials are looking to prevent future schemes through a task force to offer ideas to put an end to them.
Officials say consumers can prevent similar scams by checking their oil tank gauges before and after refilling and comparing the numbers to their receipts.
The Department of Consumer Affairs will also step up random inspections.
Officials are asking anyone who believes they have been a victim of any of the oil companies to call 311.