Dimora trial: What to expect in the forfeiture phase

3:06 PM, Mar 13, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon said Tuesday that the government may play wiretapped calls that demonstrate how the home was used as an criminal enterprise.

Bacon and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Morford said that the home of Jimmy Dimora on Forestwood Drive in Independence was the "headquarters" of the criminal enterprise that Dimora and others were involved in.

They make the argument that Dimora's entire home must be forfeited because of his convictions last week. Defense attorneys are trying to prove that untrue and to save the home for Dimora's family to continue living in.

Prosecutors presented witnesses during the nine-week trial who testified that calls and conversations took place at or from Dimora's home regarding the schemes that Dimora was eventually convicted of last week.

Dimora was also convicted of accepting home improvements inside and outside the home from contractors and businessmen without paying for them and then using his influence as a county commissioner to get them county contracts.

Bacon also said FBI Special Agent Michael Massie will testify during the forfeiture phase regarding the summary charts of the evidence.

Dimora's attorneys Andrea and Bill Whitaker had until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to produce their own witnesses who would testify that the home was not used as the focal point of the "criminal enterprise" and submit those names to the court.

Possible witnesses include Dimora's wife, Lori, their two sons, Anthony and Joseph, and their daughter Lisa.

Bacon told the court that Dimora had used more than one room in the home from which he ran the criminal enterprise.

She said Dimora held pool parties with other corruption defendants several days a week in the good weather, made calls from different rooms about county business and schemes, had a fax machine where he received faxes relating to county business and had other items of value throughout his property that were proceeds of the schemes.

Prosecutors alleged that nearly everything in Dimora's spacious back yard was supplied free of charge to Dimora from businessmen and contractors, including a Tiki bar, a pizza oven, a large back yard canopy attached to the house and a huge retaining wall.

Among other things, testimony during the trial also revealed that Dimora received a kitchen refrigerator, granite countertops for the kitchen and two bathrooms, and that the $3,600 Beanie Wells framed football jersey from an auction was found hanging in his basement recreation room.

Testimony during the trial also revealed that Dimora rarely went to his commissioner's office in the Cuyahoga County Administration building except for the Thursdays when the commissioners held their meetings.


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