News and Press Releases

Businessman Michael Forlani sentenced to eight years in prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2013

Cleveland-area businessman Michael Forlani was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after previously pleading guilty to RICO conspiracy and other crimes related to bribes Forlani paid to public officials in exchange for help getting contracts for companies he owned or controlled, federal law enforcement officials said today.

U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Forlani, age 55, of Gates Mills, to 97 months in prison. She also ordered him to forfeit $900,000 and pay $136,251 in restitution -- $95,129 to Cuyahoga County, $37,144 to the Maple Heights City School District and $3,978 to Metro Health Systems.

Forlani pleaded guilty last year to RICO conspiracy, Hobbs Act violations, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, and other charges.

Forlani was president and majority owner of Doan Pyramid LLC, a minority owner in Neteam, AVI, the sole member of Veterans Development, LLC, a member of the board of managers for Veterans Development Domiciliary, LLC, the sole member of Wade Park Retail, LLC, and the sole owner fo Deep Three Partners, LLC, according to court documents.

Between 2002 and 2009, Forlani conspired with Jimmy Dimora, Santina Klimkowksi, John Carroll and other public officials in exchange for those officials using their positions to benefit Forlani and his associated companies, according to court documents.

Those actions included awarding and executing public business, expediting and influencing official actions pending before public agencies and other actions, according to court documents.

This included the Cuyahoga County Commissioners voting to award Doan a $941,000 contract to install emergency generators at the Justice Center; requesting and obtaining Dimora’s assistance related to contracts at the Juvenile Justice Center project; getting Dimora’s assistance related to influencing board members on a RTA contract valued at more than $1.1 million, the appointment of a member to the Port Authority Board, getting a county economic development loan, getting no-bid contracts at Maple Height City Schools, and construction contracts and subcontracts at MetroHealth Medical Center, among other actions, according to court documents

In return, Forlani and his associated companies provided things of value to the public officials, such as discounted home improvements, installation of televisions and an outdoor audio/visual system, loge seats for concerts, sporting event tickets, meals and drinks, and other things of value, according to court documents.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Antoinette T. Bacon, Henry DeBaggis and Nancy L. Kelley following an investigation by the FBI, IRS – Criminal Investigation and the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General.

 

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