During the first day of his trial — for the embezzlement of $800,000 from employee pension plans — Long Island banana magnate Thomas Hoey had little to say, except about the judicial system’s limited menu.
“Mr. Hoey’s been given one small sandwich all day,” his lawyer, Dominic Amorosa, complained to Manhattan Federal Judge Paul Engelmayer during the jury selection for his client’s trial. “I’m not sure what your role in this is, but I would request he be fed.”
The judge had little sympathy for Hoey, who is currently serving 12 years for covering up the death of a woman to whom he supplied a fatal amount of cocaine during an intimate evening in 2009.
“I have no role in the sandwich-making function here,” Engelmayer said to laughter in the courtroom. “I would suggest you take that up with the marshals.”
A marshal, to whom the lawyer then complained about the “one bologna sandwich,” was also unmoved.
“That’s what everybody gets,” the marshal said before walking away.
Pending the outcome of the new trial, Hoey could serve up to 45 additional years in prison. The self-proclaimed “banana king” is described by prosecutors as having used employee pensions as his “own personal piggybank,” while Hoey has argued that he only intended to borrow the money temporarily in order to save his family business, the now-bankrupt Long Island Banana Co.