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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Kirtland Couple Sentenced to 18 Months for Bribing Former City of Cleveland Official and Tax Fraud

Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a Kirtland couple was sentenced by U.S. Judge Christopher A. Boyko to 18 months imprisonment after both pleaded guilty to bribery of a former city of Cleveland demolition official. 

Joseph Tucceri, III, 75, and Gwen Tucceri, 61, were both sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $114,422 to the IRS.

According to court records, the Tucceris owned and operated “R Demolition,” a business that provided demolition and construction services in the Cleveland area.  From December of 2016 through May of 218, the Tucceris provided things of value, including more than $1,600 in cash payments, to Rufus Taylor, the former Chief of the Demolition Bureau for the city of Cleveland, in return for expedited service and favorable treatment regarding work performed by R Demolition on contracts within the city of Cleveland.  

Additionally, Joseph and Gwen Tucceri submitted false income tax returns that underreported their income for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017.  As a result, the returns understated the full amount of taxes owed.

Rufus Taylor was sentenced in June of 2021 to 21 months imprisonment for his role in the scheme.

This case was investigated by the Cleveland Division of the FBI, Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General and IRS-Criminal Investigation.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chelsea S. Rice and Elliot D. Morrison.

Public Corruption
Daniel Ball
Updated July 15, 2021