Two men were arrested on Tuesday for stealing the identity of local businesses in Suffolk County to apply for rebate checks as part of National Grids Energy Efficiency Program, costing the company $100,000 in energy rebates, Suffolk County police said.
Ralph Bianco, of Farmingdale, and John Glaser, of Lindenhurst, allegedly used identification of eight businesses in Suffolk County on National Grid rebate applications for rebates. The efficiency upgrades were never performed, police said, and the applications were submitted without the knowledge of the business owners.
National Grid offered the programs for commercial properties to perform upgrades that would conserve energy.
Starting in 2009, Bianco, applied for the rebates with help from Glaser, both 53, who was employed by National Grid, police said.
Police became aware of the fraud two months ago when an Amityville business owner became suspicious after learning that someone applied for a rebate using his company’s information. A rebate was never issued, however, because the tax identification number for the business was not included on the application, police said.
After the business owner’s complaint, both National Gird and the Suffolk County Police Identity Theft Unit began in investigation.
Police believe 50 to 60 other business locations that may have been affected by the scam.
Bianco represented himself under the business name JMR Energy and received rebate checks valued between $7,200 and $10,000 from National Grid, police said. The applications were submitted using business names, addresses, tax identification numbers and National Grid account numbers, police said.
Both men were charged with grand larceny and 11 counts of identity theft. Glaser was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday, and Glaser was arraigned on Wednesday.
Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this case to call Crime Stoppers 1-800-220-TIPS.