CLEVELAND -- A criminal information was filed Monday charging Harlan Diamond, 76, CEO of Executive Caterers of Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights, with one count of aiding and abetting mail fraud in connection with the Cuyahoga County public corruption investigation
Prosecutors for the criminal divison in the Northern District of Ohio say Diamond, of Bratenahl, participated in a fraud scheme with former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora to funnel money from Dimora's campaign account to fund a 50th birthday party for Dimora's wife, Lori.
Diamond's spokesman Joe Rice and attorney Robert Glickman tell Channel 3 that Diamond has been cooperating with federal officials and will plead guilty to the charge.
In a part of his statement released late Monday, Diamond said that when he and Dimora "discussed adding the expenses for his personal event to the bill for the Dimora Boosters Club, I did not realize I was breaking the law. To me, Jimmy Dimora and the Dimora Boosters Club were synonymous and I was just carrying out a client's wishes. There were no public monies involved."
The charge of mail fraud has to do with an invoice mailed to Dimora from Diamond on Nov. 14, 2007, for $22,125.44.
On Nov. 16, 2007, Dimora sent a check for $22,125.44 drawn from the Dimora Boosters Committee account to Executive Caterers to pay for the party.
The Boosters Committee was established to account for and manage Dimora's campaign funds. The money cannot be used for personal purposes.
The birthday party was held at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven on July 14, 2006. The bill of information states that on July 16, 2006, Landerhaven sent an invoice to Dimora for $8,725.51 for the party.
On Oct. 28, 2007, Dimora held a brunch at Landerhaven for the Boosters Committee. On Oct. 31, 2007, Landerhaven prepared an invoice for the Boosters brunch for $18,658.50.
Sometime in November 2007, Diamond and Dimora met to discuss the two outstanding invoices.
Federal officials say that, at that time, Dimora instructed Diamond to increase the amount of the Boosters brunch billing to cover the birthday party cost, which Diamond did.
On or about Nov. 14, 2007, Diamond sent a bill for $22,125.44 for the brunch, which federal officials say was inflated by $3,466.94. Dimora paid the bill from the Boosters Committee account.
On March 2,2009, Landerhaven applied $3,466.94 from the brunch payment check to Lori Dimora's birthday party balance.