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Press Release

Two charged with paying bribes to former head of anti-poverty agency

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

Two men were charged for paying bribes to the former head of a Cleveland-area anti-poverty agency in return for contracts from the agency, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office, and Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General—Chicago Region.

Robert Moman and John Calvetta were each charged via criminal information with one count of honest services mail fraud.

Moman, 77, of Tougloo, Miss., and John Calvetta, 71, of Solon, are charged with paying bribes to Jacqueline K. Middleton, who served as president and chief executive officer of the Council of Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland.

The CEOGC was organized with the purpose of serving low-income people of Cuyahoga County and Greater Cleveland. The CEOGC administered several federal, state and local programs designed to address the needs of low-income individuals, including Head Start, the Community Services Block Grant program and the Home Energy Assistance program.

Middleton, of Shaker Heights, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of honest services fraud, one count of bribery in federally funded programs and one count of Hobbs Act Conspiracy. She was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

Moman worked as a consultant for CEOGC. He received approximately $169,036 from CEOGC from 2008 through 2012. Moman provided $11,200 in kickback payments to Middleton in return for favorable actions, such as her authorization of contracts to Moman, according to the information.

Calvetta was an employee of a home and business renovation company located in Cleveland. That company received approximately $318,699 from CEOGC between 2008 and 2010 for parking lot renovations, flooring installation,classroom remodeling and other work. Calvetta provided gifts, payments and other things of value to Middleton worth $9,249 in the form of home renovation work and payments to vendors for related supplies on her behalf. This was done in return for Middleton steering work to the company, according to the information.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. Collyer following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

A charge 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.

Updated July 9, 2015

Public Corruption