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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) –

A federal grand jury returned an 18-count indictment charging Anthony O. Calabrese III and

Sanford Prudoff with crimes related to the ongoing Cuyahoga County corruption investigation,

federal law enforcement officials said.

Calabrese, 39, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was named in 12 counts for crimes including:

racketeering; conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud; Hobbs Act conspiracy;

bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds; conspiracy to commit mail fraud; mail

fraud and tampering with a victim, witness or informant.

Prudoff, 68, of Lorain, Ohio, was employed as Community Development Director for the

city of Lorain, Ohio from 1973 through 2009. He was named in five counts: conspiracy to

commit mail fraud; false statements to law enforcement and three counts of false statements on a

federal income tax return.

Calabrese and Prudoff are both charged in Count 5, conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

The racketeering charge involves conduct that took place between 2001 and 2009 in

which Calabrese gave things of value to public officials and their designees in return for public

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officials taking and promising to take official action that benefitted Calabrese, Law Firm 1

(where Calabrese was an associate and partner), their clients and designees, according to the

indictment.

Specifically, Calabrese participated in a scheme in which he and Cuyahoga County

employee J. Kevin Kelley helped obtain tax exempt status for the property leased by Alternatives

Agency around January 2004, according to the indictment.

In September 2004, after a tax refund check was issued to Alternatives Agency for

$144,216.26, Calabrese instructed Alternative Agency to issue a check to Business 45 for

$72,000 and classify the expense as consulting, despite Calabrese knowing that Business 45

performed no consulting services for Alternatives Agency to justify the expense, according to the

indictment.

Business 45, in turn, issued checks payable to Calabrese for $31,500 and J. Kevin Kelley

Consulting, LLC, for $35,500. Business 45 kept the remaining $5,000, according to the

indictment.

In another scheme, Calabrese lobbied Kelley (a member of the Parma School Board) and

other members of the Parma School Board in January 2005 to contract with Business 9 to serve

as project manager for a renovation project. Business 9 was a construction company that

specialized in stone and brick masonry and was a client of Law Firm 1, according to the

indictment.

In September 2005, the Parma School Board, with Kelley voting in favor, awarded a

contract worth $1.8 million to Business 9, according to the indictment.

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Calabrese and Kelley arranged for Business 9 to hire The Eagle Group, a consulting

company formed by Daniel P. Gallagher. In August 2009, Business 9 sent a check for $15,000 to

Eagle. Gallagher then paid a portion of that money to Kelley and Kevin Payne, according to the

indictment.

Other conduct detailed in the indictment includes Calabrese, Kelley, Brian Schuman,

former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank P. Russo and former Cuyahoga County Commissioner

James C. Dimora conspiring to increase the funding for Alternatives Agency, according to the

indictment.

In or around January 2008, Calabrese, who served as legal counsel for Alternatives

Agency, instructed Schuman, an employee of Alternatives Agency, to increase Kelley’s monthly

consulting fee by $2,000 for four months for the purpose of funding expenses associated with a

Las Vegas trip for Dimora, Russo and Public Employee 55, according to the indictment.

In or around 2003, Prudoff began receiving payments from Alternatives Agency on a

monthly basis, purportedly for consulting work. When BE39 informed Calabrese that

Alternatives Agency received no work product from Prudoff, Calabrese told BE39 that Prudoff

was consulting on a Lorain expansion project, according to the indictment.

BE39 questioned why Alternatives Agency was paying Prudoff, since he was the

Community Development Director for Lorain and it would be within his job requirements to

assist companies such as Alternatives Agency, who were interested in developing facilities in

Lorain. Calabrese insisted that BE39 continue to cause Alternatives to pay Prudoff, according to

the indictment.

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Calabrese did not inform the Alternatives board about the payments for consultants on a

Lorain expansion project and the board did not approve payments to any such consultant,

according to the indictment.

In or around June 2005, Calabrese told BE39 that Prudoff had some issues arise and

Prudoff’s monthly payment should be issued to Relative 2, who was related to Prudoff’s

girlfriend, according to the indictment.

In or around July 2005, Calabrese and Prudoff assisted Relative 2 in forming Business 46.

On or about July 25, 2005, Alternatives Agency began issuing checks to Business 46 for

approximately $4,000 on a monthly basis, according to the indictment.

Prudoff provided favorable consideration to Calabrese and his designees on business

matter unrelated to Alternatives Agency, in return and in exchange for the consulting fees that

Calabrese caused Prudoff and Business 46 to receive from Alternatives, according to the

indictment.

In another case, Business 43 was incorporated in the State of Ohio in March 2005 and

Calabrese’s relative (Relative 1) was the registered agent for the company. Calabrese caused

Alternatives to engage Business 43’s services but concealed from Alternatives his relative’s

relationship to Business 43 and did not disclose to them that Relative 1 performed little or no

work for Alternatives to justify the fees paid, according to the indictment.

In or around 2002, Calabrese influence Alternatives to hire A.C. Sinagra and Associates.

In January 2006, A.C. Sinagra and Associated entered into a contract setting a monthly

consulting fee at approximately $1,500, according to the indictment.

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In March 2006, Calabrese and Sinagra agreed that Calabrese would cause Alternatives to

increase its payments to A.C. Sinagra and Associates, and Sinagra would use the additional funds

to pay persons or entities identified by Calabrese in the amounts Calabrese designated, according

to the indictment.

Calabrese first suggested Sinagra make consulting payments to Relative 1 through

Business 43. He later asked Sinagra to pay Calabrese through Burlwood Holdings, an LLC

formed in 2004 and controlled by Calabrese, according to the indictment.

Calabrese also asked Sinagra to pay Relative 2 and Sinagra agreed to both requests.

Sinagra performed no legitimate work for Alternatives to justify the increase in his fee, according

to the indictment.

In May 2006, Alternatives increased Sinagra’s monthly fee from $1,500 to approximately

$6,000. In May 2006, A.C. Sinagra Company issued a check to Relative 2 for $2,000 and

Berlwood Holdings (sic) for $2,000. This continued through November 2007, according to the

indictment.

In sum, from Calabrese caused Alternatives to make payments to Prudoff and Relative 2

between July 2003 and March 2006 totaling approximately $144,000, according to the

indictment.

Calabrese caused Alternatives to make payments to Business 43 between March 2005 and

March 2006 totaling approximately $12,950, according to the indictment.

Calabrese caused Alternatives to make payments to A.C. Sinagra and Associates between

January 2002 and November 2007 totaling approximately $190,500, according to the indictment.

Page 5 of 6

Calabrese caused Alternatives to make payments to J. Kevin Kelley Consulting between

October 2004 and August 2008 totaling approximately $201,473, according to the indictment.

Regarding Count 9, Relative 1’s brother was Attorney 6. Attorney 7 was Calabrese’s

relative and formerly related to Relative 1. On or about Feb. 2, 2009, Calabrese told BE39 that

Calabrese and Attorney 7 had met with Attorney 6. Calabrese asked BE39 to meet with Attorney

6, according to the indictment.

BE39 met with Attorney 6 on Feb. 2, 2009. Attorney 6 told BE39 that Calabrese and

Attorney 7 wanted Attorney 6 to meet with BE39 to go over the script, according to the

indictment.

Attorney 6 instructed BE39 that if anyone questioned BE39 about Relative 1, BE39

should say that BE40 and BE39 hired Relative 1 to work out of her home to help with the Lorain

expansion, which Calabrese and BE39 knew was not true, according to the indictment.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of

factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s

role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentences will not

exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a

fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann C. Rowland and Antoinette T.

Bacon. The investigation was conducted by the Cleveland office of the Federal Bureau of

Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.

http://www.19actionnews.com/story/15526344/more-indictments-in-the-cuyahoga-county-corruption-scandal

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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