The family of one of the key figures in a multi-million dollar fraud and kickback scheme says it too is a victim of John Nicolo's activities along with Eastman Kodak and the town of Greece.
Jack Nicolo said he was 13 years old when his father began taking advantage of him. Now 55, Jack says he wants to get back what he believes is rightfully his.
Jack said as long as he can remember, his father has never been an honest man. Jack said his dad has always been one to take advantage of others.
"He's never had an honest deal, he's a sociopath, cannot be trusted,” Jack said. “If you shook hands with him you'd count your fingers."
Jack has documentation dating back to 1969 that details his father's dealings. Many of them are land deals in the town of Jerusalem in Yates County including 37 acres of lakefront property that John Nicolo put in his son’s name.
Jack Nicolo said parcels of that land were eventually sold to Constance Roeder, John's second wife, without Jack's knowledge.
Roeder was convicted of a tax violation.
Jack believes the 37-acre plot, and three other properties, belong to him.
"The total value of these properties, on a lake, could range anywhere and what they're selling for almost $4 million,” Jack explained. “Of course the assessed value is all in one piece and nowhere near that, but for what he was selling these properties for, and there's almost 2,000 feet of lakefront property, it's pretty simple arithmetic."
Jack said he became suspicious of his father's activities back in 1988 when his parents divorced. Jack said his father scammed his mother out of her portion of their 401(k) retirement savings.
Jack claims John Nicolo then opened a business in Florida under Jack's name saying it was worth nothing at the time, but would be when the elder Nicolo eventually died.
"Heard nothing about the business until I filed my tax return that year and found out that I owed the federal government I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Jack said. “He had hid all of his income in this business with my social security number and my name so that when he went to divorce my mother he showed $11,000 in income that year and the feds came after me for the difference."
So when John Nicolo was indicted and eventually found guilty on more than 50 charges that include conspiracy for accepting bribes and kickbacks, money laundering and mail and tax fraud, Jack says he wasn't surprised.
"Actually it proved me to be a prophet,” he said. “I had told him when we had thing over the tax deal that he's going wind up in jail, broke and alone. And that’s where he is now.”
John Nicolo, who is now 76 years old, was sentenced last February to 12 years in federal prison. Roeder received three years probation and a $50,000 fine.
Jack Nicolo said he can't afford an attorney to try to regain the property he believes belongs to him.