Willoughby Hills Man Sentenced for Bribery
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 10, 2010|
Vincent Russo was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $3,000 in restitution, Bernard A. Smith, Appellate Chief, Criminal Division, the United States Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Ohio; Harold Bickmore, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI; and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, announced today.
Russo, of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, pled guilty in September to four charges: one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, one count of Hobbs Act conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The charges were part of the ongoing Cuyahoga County corruption investigation.
U.S. Distict Judge Kate O'Malley sentenced Russo to 18 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. She also ordered Russo to pay $3,036.49 in restitution to the Maple Heights City Schools (MHCS).
The schemes involved contracts sought by clients of Russo's company, Vincore LLC, from MHCS.
Russo admitted delivering two televisions to the home of former MHCS board member Santina Klimkowski in December 2007 and instructing Klimkowski to deliver one of the televisions to MHCS Treasurer Christopher D. Krause. The televisions were bribes paid in an effort to get contracts awarded to a company that employed Russo's company, Vincore LLC, as a consultant, according to the charges.
One of the televisions, a 46-inch Sharp Aquos Liquid Crystal television, was obtained by an agent of Business 14.
On or about Aug. 3, 2008, about six days after federal agents searched the offices of Vincore LLC, Cuyahoga County offices and other businesses, Russo told Klimkowski to "get rid" of the television Russo had given her and instructed her to tell Krause to "get rid of" the television Russo had given to Klimkowski to give Krause, according to the charges.