New York

Ex-banana importer gets prison for retirement fund theft

A former banana importer already serving a dozen years in prison for distributing drugs has been sentenced in New York to another seven years for stealing $750,000 from his employees' retirement fund.

A federal judge called 48-year-old Thomas Hoey (HOH'-ee) Jr.'s conduct "appalling" as he pronounced the sentence Monday.

Prosecutors say the Garden City resident referred to himself as Mr. Big and as the Banana King as he lived lavishly, enjoying extensive travel and casino trips.

Hoey was convicted at trial and apologized to his ex-employees at sentencing, saying he never intended to cheat them.

The judge read aloud a description of Hoey's indifference toward the alcohol and cocaine death of a guest at a 2009 sex party he hosted. The judge says Hoey's history shows he's self-centered.