On December 20, 2023

Ludlow businessman arrested in NYC for alleged fraudulent construction contracts scheme

 

By Katy Savage

A Ludlow businessman was arrested Thursday, Dec. 14 in New York City on federal charges for unlawfully securing commercial construction contracts. 

Troy Caruso, 56, owner of multiple businesses in Ludlow and the CEO of a New York City-based construction firm, McAlpine Contracting, faces one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of honest services wire fraud, each carrying a potential maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Caruso bought a second home in Ludlow about 13 years ago and quickly began acquiring businesses around 2021. First, he purchased the former Okemo Valley Golf Club for $2.71 million and renamed it Fox Run. He then bought a slew of restaurants, including Calcutta’s, LaTavolta, Off the Rails, Sam’s Steakhouse and Mr. Darcy’s. He also owns the former Tater Hill Golf Club in Chester. Caruso said in previous interviews he planned to demolish Sam’s Steakhouse and Mr. Darcy’s after both were damaged in July flooding. 

The charges allege Caruso was involved in a kickback scheme with business partner John Nolan, a senior executive at McAlpine Contracting. 

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges the duo bribed a senior project manager at a Fortune 500 commercial real estate firm between February 2021 and September 2023. Caruso and Nolan paid $15,000 to an intermediary to connect them with the real estate firm employee around March 2021. Caruso’s company then reportedly secured a $3.55 million construction contract for a health services business after manipulating the bidding process. Caruso and Nolan paid the real estate firm employee $35,500 in bribes and $33,000 in kickbacks.  

Most transactions, according to the DOJ, were conducted in cash at various locations around New York City. 

Both Caruso and Nolan appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, Dec. 14. Caruso was represented by high-profile criminal defense attorneys Marc Agnifilo and Teny Geragos. Agnifilo, known for his work with notable figures like Martin Shkreli. 

Caruso was released on a $10 million bond, while Nolan was released on a $1 million bond, according to court records. 

Attempts to reach Caruso and Nolan and their attorneys weren’t successful. 

Caruso grew up on Long Island, New York and started working at a demolition company out of high school. He started his own construction business in the mid 1990s.  Caruso planned to invest far more in the Ludlow community, including luxury senior housing units and a hotel.

“Fox Run has plans for two subsequent phases of expansions to develop the 120 unimproved acres on the property,” Caruso told the New England Real Estate Journal in 2021. “An upscale senior living complex, with a preliminary budget of $25 million, will be constructed in Phase II, while Phase III will include the construction of a $15 million hotel.”

The investigation, led by Task Force Officers from the Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, received assistance from the FBI. 

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