Suffolk County Police have arrested two men for using identifying information of eight business in Suffolk County on National Grid rebate applications, costing the utility approximately $100,000 in energy rebates.

Starting in September 2009, Ralph Bianco, 53, and John Glaser, 53, applied for energy efficiency rebates using the identifying information of eight businesses in Suffolk County. National Grid offered an Energy Efficiency Program for commercial properties to perform upgrades that would conserve energy. Bianco, a heating and air-conditioning technician, applied for rebates under the program with the assistance of Glaser, who was employed by National Grid. The efficiency upgrades were not performed and the applications were submitted without the knowledge of the business owners.

The fraud was revealed approximately two months ago when an Amityville business owner became suspicious upon learning that someone had applied for a rebate using his company’s information. A rebate was never issued because the tax identification number for the business was not included on the fraudulent application. Following the business owner’s complaint, both National Grid and the Suffolk County Police Identity Theft Unit began an investigation.

Bianco represented himself under the business name JMR Energy and applied for and received rebate checks valued between $7,200 and $10,000 from National Grid. The applications generally were submitted using existing business names, addresses, tax identification numbers and National Grid account numbers.

Bianco, of 102 Copeland Place, Farmingdale, and Glaser, of 239 Tremont Ave., Lindenhurst, were both charged with one count of Grand Larceny 2nd Degree, and 11 counts of Identity Theft 1st Degree. Glaser was arraigned today at First District Court in Central Islip. Bianco surrendered today at the First Precinct, in West Babylon, and is scheduled to be arraigned on June 8.

The Identity Theft Unit is continuing its investigation and believes there are possibly 50 to 60 other business locations that may have been affected by the scam. Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this case to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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