Dimora Agrees to Forfeit Independence Home

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AKRON, Ohio -- Attorneys for Jimmy Dimora and Federal prosecutors have reached an agreement on what items of value owned by the former Cuyahoga County Commissioner will be forfeited due to his conviction on charges related to corruption in office.

As part of that agreement Dimora will forfeit his Independence home.

It was announced in court on Wednesday that he agreed to forfeit all his interests in 7254 Forestwood Drive in Independence, Ohio.

Federal prosecutors agreed to not seek Lori Dimora's 50% stake in the property upon its sale. Lori Dimora must vacate the home six-months after the final appeal, according to the agreement.

In addition to Dimora losing the home, all his accounts will be liquidated by the government.

Dimora has agreed to provide a completed form to the government that shows the sum of all accounts that total more than $10,000.

Lori Dimora's personal savings accounts and her husband's Ohio Public Employees Retirement System account from his days as mayor of Bedford Heights will not be touched by federal authorities.

Dimora's sentencing date has been set for July 25th at 1:00 p.m. His co-defendant Michael Gabor is scheduled to be sentenced the same day at 10:00 a.m.

Fox 8 News' Dave Nethers reports that government prosecutors had been behind closed doors all day with Judge Sara Lioi working out an agreement.

Judge Lioi announced to the court just before 4:00 p.m., that an agreement was reached.

"This matter was set for a forfeiture hearing today and it's my understanding there is no need for the hearing to go forward at this time," said Lioi.

Dimora arrived at federal court in a prison transport van Wednesday, handcuffed and dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit. Once inside he was hustled into a waiting elevator by a detail of U.S. Marshals.

Although he has not yet been sentenced for his conviction on 37 corruption related charges, Dimora has been in federal custody since his conviction on Friday.

The jury that convicted him was also called back to court on Wednesday, expecting to hearing arguments over what of Dimora's money and possessions the government can claim as part of his penalty.

Government prosecutors had made the argument that the home was his, "headquarters" for his "criminal enterprise."

"There were meetings there, the bribes were stored there, the records of the official acts were kept there, conversations about the obstruction happened there. Commissioner Dimora didn't just use one room of the house," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon in arguments on Tuesday.

"In the drug context, drugs are found in one room, guns in another, cash in another and the same thing. In the bribery context there were bribes stored in different rooms, documents in other rooms meetings held in other rooms, the whole house afforded a source of influence," said Bacon.

"Just like IBM has a headquarters, the RICO enterprise had a headquarters and that was this home," she added.

In addition to his property, prosecutors also want Dimora to pay the government back a $150,000 government grant that was awarded to the city of Berea for a foot bridge at Coe Lake and $250,000 that the county gave to a halfway house called Alternatives Agency.

Evidence during his criminal trial showed that Dimora accepted bribes or kickbacks for his help getting that funding.

Dimora faces the possibility of spending decades in prison for his conviction on charges that include bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and filing false tax returns.

For the tax returns alone Dimora was accused of not claiming more than $160,000 in income from bribes and kickbacks during the years 2004 through 2007.

Following Wednesday's hearing, Michael Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, released the following statement:

"While we are pleased with the jury’s verdict, we’re also aware that this case is a sad one.

It’s sad for the people of Cuyahoga County, who learned over the course of this trial that some of their elected officials were there for self-service, not public service.

It’s sad for the people of Cuyahoga County, who learned about the pervasiveness of corruption, in shocking detail, during this trial.

This result would not have been possible without the incredible dedication and hard work of the FBI and IRS agents and Assistant US Attorneys who worked on this case.

Their selfless service serves as a stark contrast of the behavior of the defendants in this case."