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"Banana Mogul" Thomas Hoey Sees Another 5.5 years Added to Jail Sentence



NEW YORK - Former Long Island banana importer Thomas Hoey Jr. has found even more trouble with the legal system after being convicted of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from employees earlier this year. A judge has added 5.5 more years to his already 12-year sentence, blasting him as as "selfish," "un-reformed" and "dangerous."

As we reported in March, prosecutors charged Hoey of stealing upwards of $750,000 from the pension accounts of those who worked for his company and using the money for his own personal uses, including travel, luxury meals, and other lavish expenses. Prosecutors report that Hoey took trips to England, Spain, Mexico and Aruba, spent large sums on fine dining and concerts, and stayed in luxury hotels in Manhattan and Long Island, according to Reuters.

Tom Hoey (L) and Tom Hoey Jr. (R) in front of Long Island Banana Co. in 1997. (Photo Credit: Newsday/Julia Gaines)

"You were born if not on third base then on first base," Judge Paul Engelmayer told Hoey when imposing sentence, the NY Daily News reports. "I have no confidence, none, that you will turn over a new leaf. Simply put, the public will benefit by your being in prison."

Hoey Jr., the former head of produce distributor Long Island Banana Corp., was ordered to pay $650,936 in restitution, $763,000 in forfeiture, and a $400 special assessment. 

"I want to apologize to the court, your honor, the prosecutors, my employees, and my family. I never intended to cheat anybody. I had hoped to repay (the pensions)," Hoey explained.

Prior to this ruling, Hoey was sentenced to the 12 years in prison for a prior drug related charge, and another 16 months on domestic violence counts in 2015.