CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, Ohio– A 42-year-old Broadview Heights man was sentenced for his role in a scheme to steal more than $3.3 million from the Cuyahoga Heights Local School District.
Dominick Palazzo received 30 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Palazzo’s brother, Joseph, was the director of information technology for the school district until February 2011.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Joseph Palazzo wrote fake invoices for shell companies, which were owned by his brother. Dominick Palazzo would keep half the money, then funnel the rest back to Joseph.
“This defendant, along with his brother and friends, stole millions of dollars from the children and taxpayers in Cuyahoga Heights,” said Carole S. Rendon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, in a news release on Wednesday. “Their lengthy prison sentences appropriately reflect the severity of their offenses.”
“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 Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
Joseph Palazzo was found guilty and is serving 11 years in prison.