A 56-year-old Sands Point cardiologist who was the mastermind behind a brazen arson and murder-for-hire plot targeting a rival doctor was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.
A Nassau County Supreme Court judge also ordered the cardiologist, Anthony Moschetto, to five years of post-release supervision. His medical license will be suspended and many of his illegal weapons—including some eccentric medieval-style daggers—will be destroyed. The judge issued a more lenient sentence than the 12 years prosecutors had recommended.
Moschetto’s sentencing came three months after he pleaded guilty to various charges, including conspiracy, arson, and one related to the sale of prescription drugs.
“This defendant was once a respected doctor, but he destroyed that legacy with his incredibly dangerous behavior and desire to murder a rival,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “Our county is much safer with this defendant behind bars.”
A multi-agency investigation into Moschetto began in December 2014 with the first of six undercover drug purchases from him that resulted in the sale of more than 400 oxycodone pills and 198 bags of heroin.
It was during the course of that investigation, which included the Drug Enforcement Administration, that undercover officers linked Moschetto and two men he hired to an office fire in Great Neck earlier that year. The target of the blaze was a fellow doctor and former business partner who grew estranged from Moschetto following a professional dispute. Moschetto was also seen on video soliciting an undercover officer to murder the doctor. No one was injured in the fire.
At the time of his arrest, authorities said Moschetto was prepared to pay the officer posing as a hit man $5,000 to badly injure the rival doctor and $20,000 to have him killed. Blank prescriptions and guns were also offered as payment, authorities said.
Authorities also revealed that Moschetto went back and forth about whether to have the doctor injured or killed. During one conversation he insinuated that the victim’s wife should be assaulted if she were present during the encounter.
When authorities executed a search warrant at his Sands Point home in April 2015, they found a cache of weapons, including many that were discovered behind a switch-activated bookcase revealing a hidden room in the basement. Stored inside the secret room were ornate daggers and swords and brass knuckles resembling “X-Men” character Wolverine’s blades.
In court, Moschetto admitted to providing money for the arson and assault as well as owning illegal weapons.
During his sentencing Tuesday, the judge issued orders of protections for the two targets.