CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, Ohio– A Broadview Heights man is facing charges for his role in stealing $3.3 million from the Cuyahoga Heights School District.
Dominick Palazzo, 42, is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Dominick’s brother, Joseph Palazzo, was the ringleader of the scheme.
As IT director for the Cuyahoga Heights School District, Joseph Palazzo submitted fake invoices for shell companies. Those companies were operated by his brother, David Donadeo and Dennis Boyles.
“This defendant, along with his brother and friends, stole millions of dollars from the children and taxpayers in Cuyahoga Heights,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in a news release on Tuesday. “They used fraudulent invoices and fake companies to enrich themselves at the expense of kids.”
Joseph Palazzo was convicted and is serving 11 years in prison. Boyles was sentenced to two years and Donadeo’s case is still pending.
“This investigation uncovered a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme laced with a web of financial lies that left a local school district in financial peril,” said Guy A. Ficco, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.