News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Knight Foundation

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Levin Furniture

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime

Cleveland businessman's sentence rests with the question of bribes vs. favors
Michael Forlani's sentencing hearing concludes, but judge holds off on decision

Mark Urycki
Michael Forlani in brown jacket with attorney Daniel Webb outside federal courthouse in Akron.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Cleveland businessman Michael Forlani was back in federal court today for a sentencing hearing. For the first time, Judge Sara Lioi was asking whether some so-called bribes were really crimes at all. WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:22)

Michael Forlani has pleaded guilty to 13 charges of corruption, and now he and the government are arguing over how much his crimes cost the community. If Forlani can convince the judge it is less than $200,000, his sentence could be reduced by as much as two years.

The government is arguing that work that Forlani’s company did on the homes of executives at the Cleveland office of Philips Medical adds to that the community’s loss. But Judge Lioi noted that Philips is a private company and companies do favors for their clients all the time. She asked, “Can’t a business pay for a meal for a client in hopes of getting more business?”

U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon replied, “That’s a commercial bribe. Philips is a publicly traded international company. These people have shareholders.”

But Defense attorney Tom Kirsch argued, “Small businesses can entertain small businesses but not large businesses? That makes no sense.”

Another argument came up over campaign contributions.
Michael Forlani raised $3,600 for Cleveland City Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott.  Forlani’s lawyers argued that every campaign contribution is aimed at getting something, so there was nothing unusual about Forlani’s. And they said Scott was already supporting Forlani’s VA-hospital project because it was in her ward. The two sides argued over the difference between an explicit bribe and an expressed bribe.  

At one point, they even argued over the meaning of a comma versus a semi-colon in passages of the federal sentencing guidelines. Judge Lioi will issue her sentence March 8th. 

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University