New York State Police arrested a dealership executive from Fuccillo Automotive Group last week on suspicion that he stole more than $1 million from the group last year.
Joseph Pompo, who was corporate director of finance, reinsurance and taxation for the Syracuse, N.Y., dealership group, is accused of forming a reinsurance company using dealership money without his employers' consent, CNY Central first reported.
Pompo, 31, was an Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree in 2020.
Fuccillo Automotive declined to comment about the arrest.
New York State Police Trooper Jack Keller told Automotive News that dealership group lawyers reported to authorities in December that Pompo had established the company without the consent of owners Billy Fuccillo and Billy Fuccillo Jr.
"They were advised through their bank accounts that he withdrew over $30,000 as dividends earned through the company," Keller said. "He somehow forged the signatures of Billy Fuccillo Jr. and Billy Fuccillo Sr. without their permission or knowledge."
Keller, a public information officer, said $1.1 million was discovered under the control of a company called New Freedom Reinsurance 6 Co. Inc. The dealership group lawyers said paperwork was discovered naming Pompo as the president and sole beneficiary of the reinsurance company, according to Keller.
Police arrested Pompo on Friday on a charge of grand larceny of the first degree. The crime is a class B felony, which Keller said means Pompo could face a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The minimum, he said, was one year of jail time.
Pompo did not respond to requests for comment.
In a LinkedIn post Tuesday, he asserted his innocence. He cited what he described as an "avalanche of support" he'd received during the previous 24 hours since the announcement of his arrest, including messages from "over 40 current employees" of Fuccillo Automotive Group.
"Those who know me know that I have based my career on rooting out the bad actors in the business world," Pompo wrote. "I fully and completely deny the baseless allegation made against me."
He added: "I look forward to speaking publicly about the reasons I am being targeted by someone who, in my opinion, will use any means necessary to achieve a desired outcome — including the media and legal system." Pompo didn't elaborate on what he meant by that, nor did he present any evidence.
Fuccillo Jr. told Automotive News last July that the group had 23 stores in New York and three in Florida. The group sold five dealerships in New York in January to Matthews Auto Group. Two more stores, Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral and Fuccillo Kia of Port Charlotte, both in Florida, were under contract to be sold.