WAPPINGERS FALLS – Morgan Fuel & Heating Company, Inc., doing
business as Bottini Fuel, pled guilty in Wappingers Falls Village Justice
Court on Tuesday to falsifying their business records to improperly divert
credit balances belonging to individual, business and government customers.
Those victims included local school districts, prisons, town governments,
and state agencies.
Bottini Fuel will pay over $3.2 million in criminal restitution and civil
Bottini, headquartered in Wappingers Falls, sells heating oil to customers
in the Hudson Valley.
The state attorney general and comptroller’s offices said from 2004
to 2016, the company improperly retained customer overpayments and duplicative
payments for heating oil.
Bottini did not inform customers that they had overpaid for heating oil,
but instead swept excess customer balances out of their accounts and used
them to benefit its owners and employers.
The company admitted to this conduct as a term of the civil settlement.
State officials learned of the company’s practice after a whistleblower
filed an action in 2015 and the attorney general’s office commenced
a civil investigation.