LawFuel – Legal Jobs & Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Division, and Michael E. Yasofky, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, announced that defendants Vincent Artuso, John Vincent Artuso, Gregory Orr, and Philip Edward Forgione were convicted of racketeering charges today by a jury in West Palm Beach. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on December 15, 2008. The charges against defendant Robert Gannon were dismissed by the judge after the close of the government’s evidence. Defendant William Larry Horton previously pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 23, 2008 at 10:30 A.M.
The two Artusos and Orr were convicted of all forty-one charges against them, including RICO conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d); nine counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; fifteen counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section, 1341; money laundering conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h); and fifteen counts of substantive money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) . Forgione was convicted of everything except the money laundering conspiracy and the substantive money laundering charges.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Vincent Artuso, a member of the Gambino Organized Crime Family, supervised and directed members of an enterprise, including his son, John Vincent Artuso, Gregory Orr, Philip Edward Forgione and William Larry Horton, in the commission of various fraud against ADT Security Services, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd.
Defendant Horton, a vice-president of Planning and Implementation at ADT, participated with the other defendants in defrauding ADT of millions of dollars for the benefit of the criminal enterprise. Horton’s employer had directed him to sell several of ADT office buildings across the country and lease back the property for the company. In furtherance of the fraud against ADT, Horton sold four of ADT’s office buildings to the Artusos, Orr and Forgione. Although Horton represented the seller (ADT), unbeknownst to ADT, he was also partners with the buyers. Horton sold the multi-million dollar properties to the defendants far below market value and then immediately leased them back to ADT at a cost substantially above fair market value.
Thereafter, the monthly lease payments made by ADT were made to limited liability companies formed by the defendants for the purpose of concealing their ownership interests, including Horton’s own ownership interest. Millions of dollars in lease payments made by ADT were then divided among the defendants. In this way, the defendants defrauded ADT of in excesses of 11 million dollars in a period of five years. The four office buildings and all proceeds are the subject of future forfeiture proceedings before the Court.
At sentencing, the four defendants who were convicted by the jury face up to 20 years’ imprisonment on the RICO conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service in successfully concluding this complex five year financial investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Brian McCormick and William T. Shockley.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov