FORMER SPEAKER OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND LOBBYIST SENTENCED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES
Salvatore DiMasi and Beacon Hill lobbyist Sentenced
Boston, Mass....SALVATORE F. DiMASI, former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, was sentenced to eight years in prison and RICHARD W. McDONOUGH, a Beacon Hill lobbyist, was sentenced to seven years in prison by Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf after being convicted by a federal jury of devising a scheme to deprive the Massachusetts citizens of his honest services by accepting bribes.
Chief Judge Wolf also sentenced DiMASI to two years of supervised release following his prison sentence and ordered him to pay $65,000 in forfeiture. McDONOUGH was also sentenced to two years of supervised release following his prison sentence, and ordered to pay $250,000 in forfeiture and a $50,000 fine.
On June 15, 2011, a federal jury convicted DiMASI and McDONOUGH after a six-week trial, of one count of conspiracy, three counts of honest services mail fraud and three counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of extortion under color of official right (Hobbs Act). In its verdict the jury found that DiMASI improperly used his power and influence to enable a software company to obtain multi-million dollar procurements from agencies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Co-conspirator, JOSEPH P. LALLY, of North Reading, previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. RICHARD D. VITALE, of Boston, who was charged as a co-conspirator, was acquitted of all charges. VITALE was DiMASI’s accountant and financial advisor, as well as a long-time close friend.
LALLY was an Area Vice-President of Sales for the State and Local Government Division of Cognos ULC (Cognos), a Canadian software company that sold business intelligence and performance management software and related services which targeted Massachusetts government agencies as potential customers. LALLY left Cognos and formed his own company, Montvale Solutions, LLC, which was licensed to resell Cognos software to agencies in Massachusetts. McDONOUGH was a lobbyist hired by LALLY and a close friend of DiMASI.
According to testimony during trial, when DiMASI became Speaker of the House in 2004, income from his outside law practice decreased significantly. In December 2004, McDONOUGH, DiMASI and LALLY arranged to have money funneled to DiMASI through a law associate of DiMASI’s, Steven Topazio, with whom DiMASI had a fee sharing arrangement. Over the next two years, although Topazio was given no work nor asked to perform any services, he was paid $5,000 per month by Cognos as arranged by the defendants.
Through this sham arrangement, DiMASI was paid $65,000 over the course of the two
year period in exchange for taking official actions that would benefit Cognos, LALLY and McDONOUGH. Such actions included securing legislative funding for two Cognos software contracts with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts worth $17.5 million.
The evidence also showed that DiMASI lobbied Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and members of his Administration, in an effort to get the Cognos contract executed. After the Boston Globe wrote a series of articles in 2008, questioning the Cognos contracts, DiMASI suggested that Topazio “lose his check register” that showed the Cognos payments. DiMASI also lied to his press secretary about his knowledge of the Topazio payments from Cognos and LALLY’s connection to Cognos.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Massachusetts Inspector General’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys S. Theodore Merritt and Anthony E. Fuller of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit and Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
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