Towing magnate charged in Macomb County corruption scandal
Gasper Fiore arraigned on federal charges
MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – The corruption scandal consuming the Macomb County government is growing, as federal officials said dirty deals involved more than just trash-hauling contracts.
On Tuesday, Metro Detroit towing magnate Gasper Fiore, 56, was arraigned on federal charges. United States attorneys said Fiore built his massive towing company, Boulevard and Trumbull Towing, with bribes to lock down contracts.
Fiore is well known in southeast Michigan business circles, but now he's caught up in the government's claims of bribery and deceit. He took his turn Tuesday before a judge.
Fiore stayed inside the courthouse until video cameras cleared, but he appeared before a magistrate facing four counts of bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud, all of which could net him 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Federal officials said Fiore wanted the Clinton Township towing contract, so he contacted Trustee Dean Reynolds and, in two installments, paid him $7,000. Officials said there wasn't a direct payment.
Instead, federal officials believe Charles Rizzo, part owner of Rizzo Environmental Services, who delivered the two installment cash payments to Reynolds around this time last year.
Officials said Rizzo needed and wanted help illegally taking money from the Rizzo trash-hauling firm, which at the time was largely owned by a hedge fund. Fiore is accused of overbilling Rizzo for towing feeds and kicking money back to Rizzo that allowed him to build a sprawling mansion and pay bribes for Rizzo Environmental Servies to win garbage-hauling contracts.
Others have taken pleas in the Macomb County corruption case, but Fiore was released on a $10,000 personal bond.
Just last week, Angelo Selva was arraigned and sentenced in the Macomb County corruption case after a guilty plea.
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