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Calabrese attorney enters 'not guilty' plea in Ameritrust deal

2:53 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
Photo of Anthony Calabrese III.
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CLEVELAND -- Attorney Anthony O. Calabrese III is already in federal prison in Elkton, Ohio, for a nine-year sentence on other charges so his attorney Tom Shaughnessy entered a "not guilty" plea on his behalf Wednesday morning in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

On July 16, a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Calabrese, 41, of Bentleyville, on more corruption-related charges. These charges include bribery charges involving the Ameritrust building purchase by the county.

Also charged July 16 was Sanford Prudoff, the former community development director for the City or Lorain. Prudoff, now 70, an associate of Calabrese, was sentenced in June 2012 to two years in prison for his role in siphoning money from Alternatives Agency, a Cleveland halfway house and then lying about the scheme to the FBI.

Prudoff is in the Federal Correctional Institution in Morgantown.

Calabrese and Prudoff were both charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and 2 counts of conspiracy. In addition, Calabrese was charged with theft and two additional charges of bribery. All of the charges are felonies.

One of the bribery charges alleges that Calabrese arranged to have J. Kevin Kelley, a former county employee involved in the county corruption scheme, to bribe then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo with a Las Vegas trip in order to restore funding to Alternatives Agency.

The theft charge alleges Calabrese, in his capacity as attorney for Alternatives Agency, directed board members to pay consulting fees to Anthony Sinagra (former mayor of Lakewood), William Wells and Kelley, knowing but failing to disclose that none of the three men did any work for AA.

Calabrese also allegedly had Kelley get "non-public" information from then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora for the anticipated purchase of the Ameritrust building as the new Cuyahoga County government headquarters.


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