Local Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Conspiracy Charges
A Rockaway man has pled guilty in Federal District Court to conspiracy for his role in illegally funneling public grant money to driver training schools. According to Michael Col-stead, a spokesperson for the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Belle Harbor resident Ronald Harnisch, 60, a lawyer as well as a registered lobbyist, admitted to creating a fictitious company that moved the grant money from the State Department of Labor to himself and to John Segreti, the owner of the driver training schools, most of which were located upstate.
In pleading guilty, Harnisch admitted that he knew that Segreti and a former state labor commissioner named James McGowan, had made a deal giving the former commissioner a secret monetary interest in his company. Segreti and McGowan have been indicted in a separate case. Harnisch reportedly faces a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of at least $250 thousand as a result of his guilty plea.