Former Mayor of Niles Indicted on 56 Counts


Staff Report



DeWine


(WARREN, Ohio)—A Trumbull County grand jury has issued indictments against the former mayor of Niles and associates related to public corruption and illegal gambling operations.

Ralph Infante, 61, of Niles, who served as Mayor of Niles from 1992-2016, was indicted on 56 counts:

  • One count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the first degree
  • 17 counts of Tampering with Records, felonies of the third degree
  • Two counts of Gambling, misdemeanors of the first degree
  • Two counts of Operating a Gambling House, misdemeanors of the first degree
  • Five counts of Money Laundering, felonies of the third degree
  • Three counts of Theft in Office, felonies of the third degree
  • One count of Theft, a felony of the fifth degree
  • Four counts of Bribery, felonies of the third degree
  • Two counts of Possessing Criminal Tools, felonies of the fifth degree
  • Ten counts of Soliciting Improper Compensation, misdemeanors of the first degree
  • One count of Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract, a felony of the fourth degree
  • Seven counts of Filing a False Disclosure Statement, misdemeanors of the first degree
  • One count of Obstruction of Justice, a felony of the fifth degree
  • One count of falsification, a misdemeanor of the first degree

Judy Infante, 67, of Niles, was indicted on the following counts:

  • One count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the first degree
  • Nine counts of Tampering with Records, felonies of the third degree
  • One Count of Theft, a felony of the fifth degree

Scott Shaffer, 51, of Niles, was indicted on the following counts:

  • Two counts of Theft in Office, felonies of the third degree
  • ITAM #39, a business located at 1762 North State Street in Girard, was indicted on the following counts
  • One count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the first degree
  • Two counts of Gambling, misdemeanors of the first degree
  • Two counts of Operating a Gambling house, misdemeanors of the first degree
  • Two counts of Possessing Criminal Tools, felonies of the fifth degree

The indictment alleges that as Niles Mayor, Ralph Infante was engaged in graft and accepting bribes. The indictment also alleges that Infante operated an illegal gambling enterprise out of the business he operated, ITAM #39 in Girard. In all, the indictment alleges that Infante received nearly $200,000 in unreported cash, income, and gifts.

The indictment alleges that Judy Infante assisted her husband in tampering with records. The indictment also alleges that Shaffer, a City of Niles employee, sold city property for cash without returning such funds to the city auditor and used city property and equipment for personal reasons for more than a decade.

The case was investigated by the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office with assistance from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The charges are being prosecuted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecutions Section. The case has been assigned to Visiting Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove (Retired) of Summit County.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued the following statement after the indictments:

“(This) indictment and the investigation regarding the City of Niles are the latest efforts my office has undertaken to help fight corruption in the Mahoning Valley. The Oakhill investigation has been completed, yielding significant successes, including guilty pleas and guilty verdicts for high-ranking county officials, candidates, and judges. While some matters like Oakhill are now done (and we anticipate no further indictments in Oakhill), we will continue to help local governments, when requested, investigate and prosecute wrongdoing, just like we have done in Niles and elsewhere around Ohio.”

DeWine
http://sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_mike-dewine-3.jpgDeWine

Staff Report

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