Long Island Trio Plead Guilty to Insurance Scam

Three Long Island men have admitted to their roles in burning down an upstate New York bar that two of them owned in a scheme to collect insurance money five years ago.

Nicholas Motta, 43, and Dominic Motta, 59, both of Islandia, pleaded guilty to attempted mail fraud Tuesday at White Plains federal court. Their codefendant, 32-year-old Anthony Perso of Medford, pleaded guilty to the same charge last month.

Prosecutors said that during the February 2010 blizzard, the Mottas had Perso and others set fire to a bar formerly known as Kilcoin’s, which the Mottas owned in Swan Lake, in Sullivan County.

Their goal was to split the more than $100,000 in insurance money. But the insurance company suspected arson and denied the claim after the Mottas had repeatedly failed to respond to the insurer’s requests to answer questions about the fire under oath, authorities said.

All three men face up to 20 years in prison. Perso is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 29, and the Mottas are scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 11.