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Authorities: Great Neck Cardiologist Wanted Rival Doctor Killed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York What began as a seemingly routine prescription pill investigation into a Great Neck cardiologist spiraled into a complex probe into a brazen murder-for-hire plot allegedly targeting a former business partner-turned rival doctor, authorities said Wednesday at a press conference announcing the bizarre Gold Coast feud.The 54-year-old cardiologist at the center of it all, Dr. Anthony J. Moschetto of Sands Point, was arrested Tuesday and charged with various crimes, including conspiracy, arson and criminal solicitation. Investigators discovered illegal guns and a cache of weapons, including ornate swords, daggers and axes, as a part of the probe, authorities said.“It’s unusual for an investigation to reveal such a wide array of crimes being committed by an individual who is seemingly respected by the medical community,” said acting-Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter. Moschetto, Krumpter added, “was exposed as a deplorable, despicable criminal.”Two men—41-year-old James Kalamaras of Suffolk County and 43-year-old James Chmela of Selden—whom Moschetto allegedly solicited to destroy his rival’s office building at 38 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck in February were also arrested Tuesday for arson, authorities said. Both Chmela and Kalamaras were also charged with burglary while Chmela was additionally charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal sale of a firearm.Medieval-style weapons seized by police during a murder-for-hire plot investigation involving a Gold Coast doctor and his rival. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)On the same day he was arrested, officers executed a search warrant at Moschetto’s home, which allegedly revealed a cache of weapons—many of them illegal—located in an apparently secret room behind a motorized bookcase that only opens when a switch is activated, authorities said.The five-month investigation, which is still ongoing, began in December when the Drug Enforcement Administration, after receiving a tip, became suspicious of unusually high prescriptions of oxycodone coming out of Moschetto’s Great Neck office, authorities said.“The investigation led to the discovery of a common link between this contraband and a then-unsolved Feb. 25 arson in Great Neck, and even a subsequent murder-for-hire plot that was foiled by this investigation,” acting-Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Wednesday.Moschetto “was the supplier and mastermind behind this elaborate scheme,” Singas added.Authorities said they found a cache of weapons at a Great Neck doctor’s Sands Point home while executing a search warrant on Tuesday, April 14. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)Authorities said Moschetto and the intended victim had a business relationship and worked out of the same office.The seemingly conventional probe sparked a multi-agency investigation that authorities said also uncovered an illegal drug distribution scheme and put the brakes on the trafficking of illegal weapons.Moschetto was arrested after he was seen on video allegedly soliciting an undercover officer to murder a competing doctor, officials said. Investigators were also able to link Moschetto and the two other defendants to a failed arson attempt at the rival doctor’s office building, authorities said.No one was injured and the blaze caused minimal damage to the building because the fire was set directly below the office’s sprinkler system. The fire was extinguished quickly and Nassau County fire officials were able to obtain evidence from the scene, authorities said. At the press conference, authorities displayed surveillance photos of the arson as it was in progress.Authorities did not say why the relationship between the two doctors soured, but once it did, Moschetto moved his practice to 370 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck. Investigators also revealed that the intended victim filed a harassment complaint against Moschetto with Nassau police.“[Moschetto] wanted to put him out of business so he could get his business,” said Anne Donnelly, deputy chief of organized crime and racketeering bureau, and an assistant district attorney.The DEA’s investigation began in December with the first of six undercover drug buys, which continued until last month, the district attorney’s office said. More than 400 oxycodone pills were sold during that time as well as 198 bags of heroin, the DA’s office said. The probe also led to a more recent sale that included two assault rifles and heroin.After the alleged arson attempt, undercover officers overhead a conversation that connected the office fire to the guns and pills, Donnelly said.One of the items seized by police in the investigation of a Great Neck doctor involved in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)Discussion of the alleged murder-for-hire plot began after the failed arson attempt, authorities said. Moschetto was allegedly prepared to pay the supposed hit-man $5,000 to assault the doctor bad enough that he’d have to be hospitalized for several months and $20,000 to kill him. Moschetto, authorities said, gave a confidential informant and the undercover officer blank prescriptions and cash as payments. Guns were also offered as payment, officials said. At one point, Moschetto allegedly broached the topic of assaulting the victim’s wife if she was present during the encounter.Prosecutors said Moschetto frequently see-sawed between having his competitor injured or killed.“At the time of Dr. Moschetto’s arrest [Tuesday], his instruction had most recently reverted back to the commission of an assault against his victim,” the DA’s office said in a press release.The collection of weapons seized by police seemed better suited for a Hollywood thriller set: daggers decorated with hissing dragons, dragon-winged double-sided axes, demonic-handled knives, and blade-protruding brass knuckles similar to the claws that shoot out of the hands of “X-Men” comic hero Wolverine.“I can’t imagine what evil this man has already committed and what evil he planned in the future,” Krumpter said.Moschetto, who was also charged with criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, burglary, criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at First District Court in Hempstead. His attorney’s information was not immediately available.last_img read more

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Vaccine news unleashes new momentum in stock market as hunkered-down investors flee cash

first_img “It’s a risk on day. It’s going to be the reopening stocks and what’s going to lag is the stay-at-home stocks. We’re in a transition period,” said Doll, adding for the trade to persist, investors will need to have confidence the global economy will be able to grow at a sustainable pace.As the Dow and S&P 500 rallied to record highs, Treasury yields pressed higher, with the 10-year yield rising to 0.95%, its highest level since March. Yields move opposite price, and bonds sold off as investors focused on the potential improvement in the economy. “If you can look forward and say we’re going to return to something closer to normal life, a lot of those cheap stocks could look attractive. This could be the beginning of the rotation into value and small caps that we’ve talked about for a long time,” said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at QMA.The small cap Russell 2000 jumped 5.5%. The high flying FANG names, however, lagged. Facebook and Amazon were both down nearly 3%, and analysts said they could now underperform if the value rotation continues.“We didn’t get a blue wave, and now we have an announcement of a vaccine, and there are people today who are capitulating. You don’t get a Dow up 1,300 points without people capitulating,” said Bob Doll, chief equities strategist and portfolio manager at Nuveen. Doll said the news has forced investors, who were waiting for the election to be over or worried about the pandemic, to take cash off the sidelines.- Advertisement – Stocks skyrocketed and bond yields surged as investors bet Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine will help the broader economy recover and revive cyclicals and other industries that were beaten down by the pandemic.The Dow was up more than 4%, while Nasdaq was up just 1% as laggard sectors like energy and financials outperformed tech. Stay-at-home plays, like Netflix and Zoom were sharply lower, but airlines rallied 16%. The S&P energy sector, still down 45% this year, was up more than 14%, and financials were up 8%.Pfizer announced earlier Monday that its vaccine is more than 90% effective, and while it will not be broadly distributed for months, investors bet that the economy will reopen and people will travel, return to work and be able to gather again in public in the next year.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The Wall Street Bull (The Charging Bull) is seen during Covid-19 pandemic in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States on May 26, 2020.Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images The vaccine news comes as the coronavirus is again spreading at a rapid rate, with record levels of new cases that could result in more partial shutdowns and more months of social distancing and other precautionary behavior.But the vaccine should still help the outlook.“I think people are going to stop having anxiety everyday…I think we see the beginning of the end. That’s a big deal,” said Tom Lee, Fundstrat head of research. “I think the market was happy to wait until we got vaccine progress before we got the rotation. There was a huge amount of underperformance in these cyclicals and epicenter stocks. We could see months and months of this. This could rally for awhile.”Lee said the market is looking ahead, and is not focusing on valuations but on the prospect of earnings revisions for many companies. Cruise stocks, for instance, soared on optimism that bookings will increase. Royal Caribbean was up 25%. Movie theatre operator AMC Entertainment surged 60%.“The public mood will change, then the confidence surveys will show that. CEOs will have more visibility, and then people will start to say earnings will go up a lot,” said Lee.Lee said investors have been holding too much cash. “People have been doomsaying for so long. It’s more likely we’re going to rally for some period of time. We’re in the final months of the year, and that Santa Claus rally could kick in,” said Lee. Lee said stocks could rally another 10%, taking the S&P 500 to 3,900 by year end.Stocks also got a lift from the possible resolution of the U.S. election, with Democrat Joe Biden declared the presumptive winner on Saturday. President Donald Trump has not conceded, and Republicans are waging legal challenges to the results in some states.“Despite the Trump campaign’s commitment to more legal action, my observation is the markets are signaling the election has been resolved. The outcome has been determined,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “The market is moving on like this is a done deal.”Stocks rallied last week, as investors welcomed a split government, with a Democrat in the White House, but Republicans still holding the Senate. The fear had been that Biden could implement market unfriendly policies like higher corporate and capital gains tax rates if Democrats gained control of the Congress.JPMorgan strategists said the S&P 500 should be at 4000 by early next year based on the combination of the Biden victory and the vaccine. “The equity market is facing one of the best backdrops for sustained gains in years. After a prolonged period of elevated risks,” they wrote. Gridlock in Washington should likely result in no tax increase and a ratcheting down of trade wars.Analysts said there are plenty of risks remaining, including the fact that Congress has not passed a stimulus package.Lee said stimulus is a necessary bridge to help businesses and individuals get through the next couple of months, while they await a vaccine. If Congress continues to battle about it, that could be a negative.“This is not about a fiscal deficit. This is about people needing a financial lifeline urgently,” said Lee.Arone said the Pfizer news is extremely positive and the market should rally on it. The market expects change, but consumer behavior has to start to change to support the gains in leisure and other stocks. Value stocks have also had a number of false rallies.“The big question is once a solution is determined, given the environment, are we in this much greater growth, higher inflation, potentially higher rates – a global economic recovery? Of that, I’m more skeptical. I need to see more evidence of that,” he said. – Advertisement –last_img read more