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Former NY Financial Planner Who Robbed Lodi Bank Could Be Freed in 6½ Years

Michael Cassano
Michael Cassano Photo Credit: Lodi PD

HACKENSACK, N.J. — A former New York businessman was sentenced Friday to a plea-bargained 10 years for robbing a bank in Lodi.

As part of the deal, 41-year-old Michael Cassano of Queens admitted in Superior Court in Hackensack in August that he held up the bank.

Cassano must serve 85% of the sentence before being eligible for parole under New Jersey's No Early Release Act. A judge also agreed to subtract time served in jail while the case progressed -- which means he could be freed in 6½.

He's also due for sentencing this Friday, however, for robbing a Toms River bank more than two weeks before the Lodi holdup.

A judge in Ocean County will determine whether the time served there will be added to, or run at the same time as, the Bergen County sentence.

Toms River police in February 2015 were headed to Queens to arrest Cassano -- who once earned six figures as a financial planner -- when they discovered that Maywood police had just grabbed him following a robbery at the Hudson City Savings in Lodi.

Cassano had placed an airsoft gun on the counter in both incidents before fleeing with cash.

After robbing the Essex Street bank in Maywood, Cassano stopped at the Dunkin' Donuts up the street, then approached a Paterson man outside and asked him for a cigarette, Lodi Detective Capt. Donald Scorzetti told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time. They each then went their separate ways, he said.

By that time, police had flooded the area from all sides.

Cassano was “acting like nothing was wrong” when they approached him moments later as he walked toward the getaway Dodge SUV with New York plates parked on Maybook Drive near Demarest Place, authorities said.

He was carrying a cup o' Joe and still wearing the fedora and sunglasses he had on during the robbery, they said.

He was also carrying the BB gun.

SEE: Maywood police solve two bank robberies with one arrest

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