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Ex-Suffolk cop pleads not guilty to upgraded hate crime charges

A former Suffolk County police sergeant accused of pulling over Latino drivers and stealing their money was hit with a new indictment Tuesday that charges him with allegedly victimizing more than two dozen minority motorists.

Scott Greene, 60, of Shirley, pleaded not guilty to five dozen additional criminal charges that allege he targeted 20 more drivers than prosecutors initially thought. Greene is facing charges of grand larceny, grand larceny as a hate crime and official misconduct for each of the alleged victims, according to court records. He had been facing 21 similar counts relating to six other incidents that he was accused of committing.

Greene was initially arrested in January after one of the victims came forward to report the encounter. Prosecutors then set up a sting operation, sending an undercover investigator to drive past Greene’s patrol car in Coram. They say Greene peered into the car, noticed the undercover officer was Hispanic, and then ordered the driver to pull over and stand behind the car.

Surveillance video from inside the vehicle appears to show Greene taking a $100 bill from an envelope and sliding it into his shirtsleeve. Prosecutors said the bill was marked and was later recovered when Greene was taken into custody during his shift. “We set up a sting to catch him in the act and that’s exactly what happened,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said after Greene’s arrest.

In March, Greene was indicted on hate crime charges stemming from six separate traffic stops, prosecutors said. At the time, the district attorney’s office said they had an active and ongoing investigation and expected Greene would face additional charges. Greene, who was released without bail after that court appearance, rushed out of the courthouse and wouldn’t speak with reporters. His lawyer also declined to comment.

Greene, who earned more than $170,000 last year, left the police force in April, amid the criminal probe. Prior to that, the 25-year police veteran had served as a patrol supervisor in Suffolk’s Sixth Precinct in Selden. Prosecutors have said Greene targeted drivers who he believed to be of Hispanic descent in Coram and Farmingville.