Dimora indicted on racketeering, seven more bribery charges

9:35 PM, Mar 30, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- In a 149-page new, updated indictment just released by the U.S. Attorney's office, former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora now faces racketeering charges.

The new indictment includes the original 26 charges filed on Sept. 14, 2010 and adds racketeering and seven new bribery charges.

The racketeering charge is under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 and is often referred to as the RICO Act.

In that count, it refers to Samir Mohammad, a former Cuyahoga County government employee and already a defendant. He was also charged with an updated indictment today for racketeering.

The U.S. Attorney's office alleges that he bribed both Dimora and then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo to secure employment.

Under RICO, prosecutors don't charge a defendant with a single crime but with actively participating in an organization or conspiracy whose purpose is to commit criminal acts.

The updated indictment also includes charges that Dimora filed false tax returns for five years by failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in income from those bribes.

The 149-page indictment was unsealed Wednesday afternoon and also adds more charges for defendant Michael Gabor and also charges Anthony Melaragno, of Vandra Brothers Construction, prosecutors said.

Vandra got many paving contracts from Cuyahoga County and Gabor, a former Russo employee, was indicted with Dimora back on Sept. 14.

Dimora has pleaded not guilty to all of the original 26 charges and is scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 12, 2011.

The FBI went public with the corruption probe on July 28, 2008, when 200 FBI and IRS agents raided government and business offices in Cuyahoga County and the homes of elected officials and business owners.


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