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County corruption's Forlani starts 8-year sentence

1:17 PM, May 28, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Federal officials confirmed that Cleveland-area businessman Michael Forlani, 55, of Gates Mills, is now an inmate at the Montgomery Federal Prison Camp in Alabama.

It's a minimum security facility housing men located on Maxwell Air Force Base. Sentenced April 1, he pleaded guilty to the charges of RICO conspiracy and other crimes related to bribes Forlani paid to Cuyahoga County public officials in exchange for help getting contracts for companies he owned or controlled.

Between 2002 and 2009, Forlani conspired with then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, county employee and former Maple Heights school board member Sandy Klimkowskii, MetroHealth's John Carroll, and other public officials in exchange for those officials using their positions to benefit Forlani and his associated companies, according to court documents.

This included:

  • the Cuyahoga County Commissioners voting to award Doan a $941,000 contract to install emergency generators at the Justice Center
  • requesting and obtaining Dimora's assistance related to contracts at the Juvenile Justice Center project
  • getting Dimora's assistance related to influencing board members on a RTA contract valued at more than $1.1 million
  • the appointment of a member to the Port Authority Board
  • getting a county economic development loan
  • getting no-bid contracts at Maple Height City Schools
  • construction contracts and subcontracts at MetroHealth Medical Center, among other actions

In return, Forlani and his associated companies provided things of value to the public officials, such as discounted home improvements; installation of televisions and an outdoor audio/visual system; loge seats for concerts; sporting event tickets; meals and drinks; and other things of value, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Forlani to 97 months in prison and ordered him to forfeit $900,000 and pay $136,251 in restitution -- $95,129 to Cuyahoga County, $37,144 to the Maple Heights City School District, and $3,978 to Metro Health Systems.

Forlani was president and majority owner of Doan Pyramid LLC; a minority owner in Neteam, AVI; the sole member of Veterans Development LLC; a member of the board of managers for Veterans Development Domiciliary LLC; the sole member of Wade Park Retail LLC; and the sole owner of Deep Three Partners LLC, according to court documents.


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