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Two Men Charged With Defrauding Agencies

December 20, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ Two men were charged Thursday with cheating government and private relief agencies of nearly $350,000 by claiming their offices were destroyed in the World Trade Center attack _ even though they had moved out two years earlier.

Alexander Koltovskoy, 36, of Manhattan, and Vincent M. Pizzi III, 48, of Mamaroneck, had leased property and had equipment at 2 World Trade Center, but left the complex in 1999. Prosecutors said they applied for Sept. 11 aid they didn’t deserve.

Koltovskoy and Pizzi were charged in federal court with stealing from seven government agencies or related groups, including $228,000 from the Small Business Administration and $28,000 from the American Red Cross.

The men pleaded innocent and were released after posting bail, $100,000 for Koltovskoy, $25,000 for Pizzi.

Oliver Smith, a lawyer for Koltovskoy, declined to comment. A message left at a telephone listing for Pizzi was not returned.

If convicted, the men each could face up to five years in prison.

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