Metro Detroit trash magnate Chuck Rizzo pleads guilty to bribery, could face 10 years in prison
Rizzo takes plea deal
PORT HURON, Mich. – Charles "Chuck" Rizzo Jr. faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to bribery.
He also will forfeit more than $4 million seized by federal investigators as part of a deal. The government is expected to ask Rizzo be sentenced to 6 years or even less depending on his cooperation in an ongoing public corruption investigation in Macomb County that has led to criminal charges against at least 16 people, including some public officials.
His sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2018. Ten years in prison is the maximum sentence he could face.
Rizzo, 47, of Bloomfield Township, entered the plea Thursday morning. Part of the plea deal is that his father, Charles Rizzo Sr., must plead guilty and cooperate or his son's deal will go away.
Chuck Rizzo, who is the son of Charles, started out helping federal investigators in their attempts to ferret out the widespread corruption they found in Macomb County. Chuck wore a wire and helped expose the payoffs of government officials in order to gain trash hauling contracts. Overall, 17 people were arrested as a result of Chuck Rizzo's cooperation.
However, somewhere along the line Chuck Rizzo decided to stop helping with the investigation. That led the feds to point much of the investigation toward him and his father.
Dean Reynolds, a Clinton Township trustee closest to Rizzo, was named in the federal indictment. The feds said Rizzo served as a bagman in paying bribe money to Reynolds from Boulevard and Trumbull Towing magnate Gasper Fiore in order for Fiore to get a township towing contract.
The even bigger problem for Rizzo stems from the construction of his Bloomfield Hills mansion. He, along with his father Charles, allegedly used friends to steal money from Rizzo Environmental Services -- the other owner was a New York hedge fund. The feds said the Rizzos were using the stolen money to finance the mansion construction.
Chuck Rizzo faces eight conspiracy and bribery counts and roughly half a dozen wire fraud charges.
Meanwhile, it appears the heat is on Fiore. With the Rizzos striking a plea deal, they likely will testify at a trial. That trial may be Fiore's.
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