Dimora trial judge: Jury can make Dimora pay

5:52 PM, Mar 12, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- The 12-person federal jury will return Wednesday morning to decide how and how much Jimmy Dimora wil have to pay back for crimes they convicted him of on Friday.

Just after 7 p.m. Monday, U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi notified prosecutors and Dimora's defense attorneys that she would hear further arguments on exhibits and jury instructions starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The jury had been scheduled to return Tuesday but were called about 6 p.m. Monday and told to report Wednesday instead.

On Wednesday, the jury will be given instructions by Lioi as to what they can consider -- like forfeiting his $438,900 home in Independence -- then they will retire to the jury room to deliberate until they reach a unanimous verdict as to what, if anything, Jimmy Dimora must forfeit.

In short, the jury will decide if Dimora should turn over all or portions of his home, pension and other assets the jury believes are proceeds from his crimes.

That hearing is now set to start at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Dimora, 56, was immediately taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Friday afternoon after he was convicted on 33 of 34 federal counts, including bribery and racketeering.

He sat mostly silent in the courtroom throughout Monday's hearing. He was unshaven and looked very tired. He had been held in federal custody since Friday and had spent his first three nights in jail.

He is facing at least 20 years in prison for his crimes.

For the first time Monday, Dimora was brought to court by the U.S. Marshals through the guarded federal entrance, an area out of the public view and not allowed to be photographed by the media.

Until then, Dimora arrived for trial with his attorneys and family and walked along the public sidewalk to enter the courthouse through the main entrance.

When asked, neither is attorneys nor U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott would say where Dimora is being held.

Dimora was brought into the courthouse in prison garb but changed into a suit coat and slacks, shirt and tie before he was seen in the court hallways and courtroom.

During Monday's hearing, Dimora's attorneys Andrea and Bill Whitaker tried to get Tuesday's scheduled forfeiture hearing postponed for 60 days while they looked for and at evidence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon strongly opposed that, saying that both Dimora and his attorneys had known about this hearing since Dimora was indicted.

Lioi denied the Whitakers' request.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Morford said the government "...will go after the whole house because he committed crimes in there."

Why? Because "The use of a location to hold meetings related to the conspiracy to conduct the enterprise's affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity may afford the participant a source of influence over the enterprise," Morford said.

Dimora regularly held pool parties at his home attended by his co-defendant Michael Gabor and other defendants who have already pleaded guilty to their crimes in the corruption probe.

Lioi determined that she "...will permit the government to argue that the home was the base of operation and that it was 100 percent, and the defendant can argue that some other percentage will apply."

Gabor, 52, of Parma, is not subject to a forfeiture hearing because he has no assets, has $20,800 in credit card debt, and was even represented in court by a court-appointed attorney, attorney Leif Christman.


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