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Press Release

Father And Son Sentenced In Conspiracy To Make Payments And Gratuities To City Of Buffalo Police Officers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:  Barbara Burns
PHONE:      (716) 843-5817
FAX #:         (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that James Mazzariello, Jr., 63, and his son, Adam Mazzariello, 38, both of Alden, NY, who were convicted of conspiring to pay bribes to City of Buffalo police officers, were sentenced to serve 12 months and six months in federal prison respectively by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. James Mazzariello, Jr. was also convicted of making and subscribing a false tax return.

            Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., and Maura K. O’Donnell, who handled the prosecution, stated that James Mazzariello, Jr. owned and operated Jim Mazz Auto, Inc. (“Jim Mazz Auto”) and National Towing, Inc. (“National Towing”). The companies were involved in all aspects of the automobile towing and repair business, including collision repair work, mechanical repair work, towing and storage work, and the sale of used automobiles. Adam Mazzariello supervised the towing services aspect of his father’s businesses. 

Between January 2009 and May 2012, Jim Mazz Auto tow truck operators, at the direction of the defendants, made payments to certain City of Buffalo police officers for their assistance in enabling the drivers to tow motor vehicles damaged in accidents in the City of Buffalo. The tow truck operators made these payments from their own personal funds and were then reimbursed by the defendants. James Mazzariello, Jr. and Adam Mazzariello also directed and authorized others to make reimbursement payments to tow truck operators for payments.  

The investigation examined and substantiated 19 different payments made by Jim Mazz Auto tow truck operators to City of Buffalo Police Officers. Approximately $500 in payments were made to City of Buffalo police officers while the gross revenue Jim Mazz Auto derived from making such payments totaled $43,022.74. The gross revenue consisted of payments made to Jim Mazz Auto for towing, as well as for mechanical and collision repair work.

In addition, James Mazzariello, Jr. filed false corporate tax returns and individual tax returns for tax years 2009 and 2010. He also significantly underreported the total amount of gross revenue for his business in order to pay less in federal taxes. The total tax loss was $125,311.

The sentencings are the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office; the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles’ Division of Field Investigation, under the direction of Owen McShane, Director of Investigations; the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Upstate Chief of Investigations Pat Simet; the New York State Department of Financial Services Criminal Investigations Unit, under the direction of Director Frank Orlando; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.

Updated April 18, 2023