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Ex-auditor Frank Russo's son sentenced to 18 months in prison

5:48 PM, Sep 18, 2010   |    comments
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O'Malley ruled that he must start serving his sentence in January 2011.

Vince Russo's wife, Shannon, is pregnant and the deferred start date allows Vince to be there when his wife gives birth.

When Frank Russo, 60, of Bratenahl, was sentenced to 21 years in prison Thursday, his starting date was deferred until May 2011 so that he could be around for the birth of his expected three grandchildren. His formal sentencing date is also Dec. 10.

Regarding Frank Russo's pleas on Thursday, the FBI's Frank Figliuzzi said, "There's nothing that I could say that would be more meaningful than having heard Frank Russo yesterday plead guilty 21 times."

Another part of Frank Russo's plea agreement with prosecutors was that Vince would plead guilty today.

Expanded Cuyahoga County corruption coverage

In mid-July, Vince Russo, 31, of Willoughby Hills, was charged with four federal counts, including bribery, conspiracy, extortion, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

He pleaded not guilty, was freed on $50,000 bond, and was scheduled to go to trial this coming Tuesday.

In court in July, Vince Russo said he is being treated for testicular cancer, suffers from panic attacks and chronic fatigue syndrome, and is under the care of a therapist.

His charges stem from the FBI/IRS investigation into the Maple Heights School District.

The federal indictment says that Vince Russo is accused  of delivering two televisions to the home of former Maple Heights School Board member Santina Klimkowski, and instructing Klimkowski to deliver one of the sets to then-Maple Heights School Treasurer Christopher D. Krause.

The televisions are said to be bribes in exchange for contracts awarded to a company that employed Russo's company, Vincore LLC.

Krause pleaded guilty July 1, 2010, and Klimkowski pleaded guilty in 2009. Both are awaiting sentencing.

Vincore, a business development and consulting firm with offices at Burke Lakefront Airport, was among those the IRS and FBI raided on July 28, 2008.

That date -- July 28, 2008 -- was the day over two years ago that the secret, three-year-long corruption probe went public, as about 200 FBI and IRS agents simultaneously raided the county offices, homes and businesses of county officeholders and businessmen.

It was 9:15 a.m. July 28, 2008, that the IRS showed up at Vincore.

Within an hour, five FBI agents also arrived. They removed at least four boxes, a computer hard drive, some papers and at least two pieces of artwork from the Vincore offices that day.

Vince's indictment also states that, just days after federal agents searched the offices of Vincore LLC, Russo told Klimkowski to "get rid" of the televisions he had given to the Maple Heights Schools employees.

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