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FDNY: Fire marshals bust man impersonating EMS officer

Officials say the man swindled local businesses while posing as an EMS lieutenant, complete with a fake uniform and badge

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Paul Liotta
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

NEW YORK — Officials with the FDNY say a Staten Island man posed as an EMS lieutenant in an effort to swindle local businesses.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced Friday that fire marshals arrested 45-year-old Robert Schnepf for his alleged scheme impersonating “Lt. Hart.”

Schnepf swindled multiple Staten Island businesses out of money, goods and services while allegedly wearing a fake uniform and flashing a fake badge, according to a FDNY media release.

“It is a complete abuse of public trust for someone to impersonate a public servant,” Nigro said. “Members of this department are proud to represent an agency that people can count on in their time of need. We and our partners in the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement alike will not tolerate any situation where someone is in the community falsely representing themselves for personal gain.”

Fire marshals arrested Schnepf when they spotted him wearing the pseudo-uniform and acting suspiciously in a Queens park, according to the media release.

While the FDNY’s media release indicates Schnepf is a resident of Staten Island, public records indicate he has a residence in Queens.

This isn’t the first time Schnepf has made headlines linked to fraudulent activity. In 2010, authorities arrested Schnepf in Southhampton for posing as a struggling veteran, according to Advance records.

PIX 11’s “Help me Howard” also did a series of stories on Schnepf’s alleged exploits running scams around the tri-state area. A man in Dover, N.J., said he gave Schnepf $34,000 in 2017 for home renovations that never got done.

For his latest arrest, Schnepf is facing charges of petit larceny, criminal impersonation of a public servant and possession of a forged instrument, according to the media release. As of Friday night, Schnepf had not yet been arraigned.

Fire marshals suspect Schnepf might have other victims who have not yet come forward. Anyone who thinks they might have had similar interactions with the suspect is asked to call the Bureau of Fire Investigation at (718) 722-3600.


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