Nicolo out of jail...for now

Colleen M. Farrell
John Nicolo will be confined to his Jerusalem home until he is sentenced for his May conviction.

John Nicolo, who was convicted of scamming Eastman Kodak, among other companies, is under home confinement while he awaits sentencing.

A real-estate appraiser who was convicted in a multi-million dollar kickback conspiracy has been let out of jail, for now.

John Nicolo will await his sentencing for his role in the scheme at his Penn Yan home. Nicolo's attorney requested he be released from custody this morning. U.S. District Court Judge David Larimer agreed.

Nicolo is on $2 million bail and is not allowed to leave his home. Nicolo was supposed to be sentenced earlier this month, but that has been postponed indefinitely. He had been taken into custody after his conviction in May because he was considered a flight risk.

Nicolo, a former property appraiser from Yates County, his wife, Constance Roeder, and former Kodak tax accountant David Finnman were convicted in May on fraud charges in the tax assessment scheme the government says dates back to 1992.

Here's how it worked: Nicolo, a former tax appraiser from Yates County, conspired with former Greece town assessor Charles Schwab and former Kodak tax accountants Mark Camarata and Finnman to scam area companies, including Kodak.

According to the government, Schwab would raise assessments of Kodak property so that Finnman and, later, his replacement, Camarata, would have the imaging company hire Nicolo to negotiate a lower assessment. The prosecution contends Nicolo would split his earnings, which tallied in the millions, with Schwab, Finnman and Camarata as part of the kickback scheme. IBM, Rochester Gas & Electric, Global Crossing and ITT Industries, and the towns of Gates, Greece and Henrietta also were affected by the scheme, according to the prosecution.

Nicolo and Roeder were also convicted on charges they allegedly filed false returns and took deductions they weren't entitled to.

Earlier this month, Roeder, Finnman and Schwab were expected to be sentenced, but their court dates have been postponed indefinitely, like Nicolo's.