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Crime and Courts


Anthony O. Calabrese III is sentenced to nine years and to give up $200,000
The sentence stems from the lawyer's part in the Russo and Dimora corruption scandal in Cuyahoga County.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
In The Region:
A year ago, Chagrin Falls lawyer Anthony Calabrese pleaded not guilty to new federal corruption charges in a 20-count indictment. Today, the 40-year-old lawyer was sentenced to nine years in prison.
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By January,  Anthony O. Calabrese III,  son of a judge, had decided to plead guilty to 18 counts of racketeering, bribery, mail fraud and other corruption charges. He played a part in the wide-ranging schemes tied to former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and Commissioner Jimmy Dimora between 2001 and 2009. 

“Anthony Calabrese misused his status as an attorney to facilitate bribes and foster corruption,” said Stephen D. Anthony, special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Cleveland Office. “Today's sentence reflects the fact that Calabrese was deeply involved in a variety of bribery schemes involving a school district, a halfway house and the infamous trip to Las Vegas, just to name a few.”

Calabrese bribed former Parma school board member J. Kevin Kelley to get certain business contracts with the schools. Later, he and Kelley worked together to get a longer-term county contract for Alternatives Agency, an alternative sentencing agency that the county had planned to stop using. He helped underwrite a La Vegas trip for Dimora and Russo. And Calabrese paid Kelley, part of Dimora’s inner circle, to convince the county to purchase the former Ameritrust complex in 2005. That purchase turned into a multi-million-dollar loss for the county, which sold it for a little more than half of what the county put into it.   

Kevin Kelley has yet to be sentenced.  At the federal courthouse in Akron, U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Calabrese to nine years in prison and ordered him to pay $132,000 in restitution. She also ordered him to forfeit $74,000.
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