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Cafaro Co. denies Detore's statements



Published: Wed, July 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former USAerospace executive said Cafaro Co. officials deceived him.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Richard Detore, U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.'s star witness at his House ethics subcommittee hearing, made "blatantly false statements" about the Cafaro Co., according to a company statement released today.

During his testimony Tuesday, Detore frequently criticized the Cafaro Co., and J.J. Cafaro in particular, for not being truthful with him regarding his employment with USAerospace Group, a Virginia company created by J.J. Cafaro to sell laser-guidance technology to the federal government.

Cafaro, a vice president of the Cafaro Co., pleaded guilty in connection with paying off Traficant in exchange for the congressman's assistance regarding USAG. Cafaro testified against Traficant at the congressman's federal corruption trial. Traficant was convicted April 11 on 10 felony counts. After the trial, jurors mentioned Cafaro when asked which prosecutorial witness's testimony was the most questionable.

During Detore's long testimony in front of the subcommittee -- which is considering a recommendation of expulsion from Congress for Traficant -- he said the Cafaro Co. deceived him and lied to him.

Detore said he was promised a $240,000 annual salary but received $50,000 less than that. He also said he had no authority at the company and his title of chief operating officer was meaningless.

Dropped lawsuit

Detore had filed a civil suit against Cafaro but dropped it because assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Morford, who prosecuted Traficant's case, told him it would undermine the government's case against the congressman if two prosecution witnesses were suing each other. Detore said he made a mistake by dropping the case and has since filed another civil suit against Cafaro.

Detore said USAG was getting federal contracts and putting the funds into a Cafaro Co. account and then spending the money on items not related to USAerospace business.

The Cafaro Co. statement said Detore's statements were false.

"Richard Detore implied that the Cafaro Co. was involved in accounting irregularities in the handling of income and expenses of USAerospace Group," the Cafaro statement reads. "The Cafaro Co. and USAerospace Group have provided all relevant information to both the Justice Department and the IRS; neither the Justice Department nor the IRS have found any improper actions taken by the Cafaro Co."

The statement also said Detore falsely implied that Cafaro and USAG were the same organization and that he worked for the Cafaro Co.




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