U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
August 25, 2010
Ciresi, Imondi Plead Not Guilty in North Providence Corruption Case
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A North Providence attorney and a businessman indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, attempted extortion and delivering a bribe entered not guilty pleas Wednesday in U.S. District Court. It is alleged that attorney Robert S. Ciresi, 77, of Hope, and businessman Edward Imondi, 73, of North Providence, acted as middlemen and received a portion of bribes they delivered to three North Providence town councilmen.
Former councilmen Joseph S. Burchfield, Raymond L. Douglas III and John A. Zambarano, also named in the superseding indictment, pleaded not guilty Monday to conspiracy, extortion and bribery charges. The indictment alleges the defendants extorted bribes from several businesses appearing before the town council. Zambarano also pleaded not guilty to making a false statement to the FBI.
The not guilty pleas, which were entered before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin, were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. The defendants remain free on $50,000 unsecured bond.
Potential maximum sentences include 5 years in federal prison, 3 years supervised release and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy; 10 years in federal prison, 3 years supervised release and a $250,000 fine for bribery; and 20 years in federal prison, 5 years supervised release and a $250,000 fine for extortion.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John P. McAdams and Terrence P. Donnelly.
The FBI investigation into public corruption in North Providence is continuing. Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division previously assisted in the investigation.
An indictment is merely an allegation 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.