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Judge jails J.J. Cafaro

Published: Thu, March 18, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.





John J. Cafaro


Above, John J. Cafaro, former vice president of the Cafaro Co., enters the federal courthouse in Akron. He was later booked into jail Wednesday for failing to give a federal judge details of his personal finances.

Ex-shopping mall executive John J. Cafaro is jailed for a few days after failing to give a judge details of his personal finances.

Cafaro, formerly The Cafaro Co.’s vice president, walked into federal court here to plead guilty to making a materially false statement regarding money he gave to his daughter Capri’s 2004 congressional campaign.

By outward appearances Wednesday morning, the 58-year-old Liberty Township man expected to walk back out, convicted of a felony but free on bond until a sentencing hearing at 10 a.m. June 8.

Cafaro did plead guilty, and U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams and Cafaro’s attorney, Ralph E. Cascarilla of Cleveland, agreed that Cafaro was probably looking at a sentence of between zero and six months in prison.

But instead of walking out of court, he was taken out in handcuffs several hours later and moved to the Summit County jail in Akron to await a second hearing at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

The routine hearing changed course when the judge addressed the usually routine issue of Cafaro’s bond.

“I’m going to order detention,” Judge Adams said late in the hearing.

He explained that a pretrial-services officer with the court had reported to him that Cafaro and Cascarilla had “refused to answer any questions” regarding Cafaro’s finances — such as his income and the value of his home and cars — information that the judge said the court needs to determine the proper amount of bond needed to ensure that Cafaro appears for sentencing.

Youngstown-based Cafaro Co. operates 12 malls and 30 shopping centers in 12 states, including the Eastwood Mall and surrounding complex in Niles.

“I’ve been here seven years. I can’t remember one instance where the defendant didn’t give the basic information to determine bond,” Judge Adams said.

Cascarilla protested that there was some misunderstanding.

“I asked her specifically. It was not provided,” Judge Adams said of the information, adding that he called the pretrial-services officer into his chambers before the hearing to question her in person.

Judge Adams then questioned the pretrial services officer in open court, and she testified that she had received only “general information” about Cafaro’s position with the Cafaro Co. and not financial information.

Cafaro will be detained until Monday, Judge Adams said. As the judge left the bench, a U.S. marshal approached Cafaro with handcuffs, and Cafaro could be heard saying, “I thought it was March 22.”

Cafaro was required to remove his suit coat, belt and tie and was taken to another room to be handcuffed. He met with his attorneys and remained in the federal courthouse for at least two more hours.

As Cascarilla left the courthouse at about 1 p.m. — two hours after the hearing ended — he refused to comment on what had happened.

Court officials said Cafaro would be taken to the jail sometime Wednesday afternoon to be held until Monday’s detention hearing unless Judge Adams agrees to hold the detention hearing sooner.

Earlier in the hearing, Judge Adams told Cafaro he was giving up the right to appeal his sentence unless the judge exceeded federal sentencing guidelines.

U.S. Attorney Justin Roberts then discussed Cafaro’s criminal history, noting that Cafaro received 15 months of federal probation in November 2002. That was for conspiring to bribe U.S. Rep. James Traficant Jr. regarding an aerospace company Cafaro formed.

Cafaro’s probation ended about a year before Cafaro’s newest charge, Roberts said. The newest charge involved causing a member of his daughter Capri Cafaro’s campaign staff to file a false report with the Federal Election Commission to cover up a $10,000 loan J.J. Cafaro gave the campaign staffer to aid his daughter’s failed U.S. congressional campaign.

J.J. Cafaro issued a statement recently saying Capri Cafaro “was not involved in any way” in the improper contribution.

Capri Cafaro is now a state senator for Ohio’s 32nd District.

Giving more than $2,000 to the campaign was a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland has said.

State Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-32nd, didn’t attend her father’s plea hearing and hadn’t spoken to him after the judge ordered him taken to jail, as of late Wednesday.

“I don’t think anyone in the family has had the opportunity to speak with him that I’m aware of,” she said.

The senator, who also is the state Senate minority leader, doesn’t know if she will be able to speak with her dad before he returns to court Monday.

“The judge certainly has the prerogative to make decisions, and we have to respect those decisions,” Capri Cafaro said.

Based on the seriousness of the crime and J.J. Cafaro’s criminal history, the sentencing range for the crime is zero to six months in prison, Judge Adams said.

A presentence investigation will be conducted by the federal probation department to check the accuracy of Cafaro’s criminal history score and other factors, Judge Adams said.


1EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

This could not be happening to a nicer guy!

In 2002, J.J. kept himself out of prison for his perjury in the Chance case (and kept Capri out of prison for the US Aerospace tax fraud that was whistleblown to Morford by Detore) by claiming to have given an unwitnessed bribe of $13,000 to Traficant.

Does anybody still believe J.J.? And if so, Why?

Jail will do him good. It's an opportunity for him to lose some weight.

Youngstown needs to watch the first few minutes of this Detore testimony about the Cafaros, which is now freely available on the C-SPAN website: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/id...

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2timOthy(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

And Capri didn't know there was an extra 8,000.00 dollars in her fund? Give me a break!! Your where you belong Dad in a cage Cafaro. Start selling smokes.

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Capri didn't know about the election funding abuse by JJ just as she doesn't know about her weight problem and clothes that don't fit. Look in a mirror. Give me a break!

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4lidieo3(24 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Now we are going to see a bunch of rats trying to get off a sinking ship. I think that all the corrupt local office holders and political figures better hold on tight, they may soon be prison buddies with JJ. I can't wait!!!!!

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5valleytransplant(37 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Let's hope that someone brought a soap on a rope for JJ. Watch your back big guy.

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6ochi56(30 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Ultimately, isn't Capri liable for filing a false financial statement. It's like having your Uncle Curly filing your tax returns and you signing it. Who is IRS coming after? 'Soitenly' not Uncle Curley!

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7ochi56(30 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Up here in C-town, the FEDS have an ongoing, 18-month long investigation, of county corruption. The prime 'targets' are Public Official 1 (PO1) and Public Official 2 (PO2). At last count over 20 different contractors, businessmen, public employees, etc. have pleaded 'guilty' and are in the process of 'plea bargaining' with the Feds.
I believe JJ has 'pictures' of a few PO's (the real targets) in the Valley. The Feds want those 'pictures'. Look for JJ to 'manufacture' evidence and testimony againts those PO's. He's done it before! See 'EliotNess' comments above.

I'm out for now; Peace!

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8mrblue(1175 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Cafaro will most likely be out of prison in less than a year, if he goes at all. As far as Capri is concerned, she had to have known from the beginning. Any bets on her winning re-election?

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91970mach1(1005 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Capri will be reelected. She has the one thing needed most to win: $$$$$$. And don't forget the state Dem party will send every officeholder they have to help her. Her dad and aunt/uncle still can give $$$$$$ to candidates.

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

All this is very unusual . JJ is big on deals . Are these few days in jail going to compliment,"I hope that you have learned your lesson and I'm going to put you on six months probation from the judge "? Is JJ doing a few days in jail as a deal to stave off far more ? The power of the Cafaro's is not to underestimated . They did not get to their position by being nice people or without supporters in positions of power .

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11McTide(10 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Does anybody wonder what Capri Cafaro appointed state senator Joe Schiavoni D33 did to deserve his cushy job? His name wasn't even mentioned until days before she appointed him. That should have set off red flags to everybody.

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12Silence_Dogood(1655 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

"Cafaro was required to remove his suit coat, belt and tie and was taken to another room to be handcuffed. "

They forgot to mention the part where poor ol JJ complained to the Judge that he could not wear handcuffs.
You see JJ has not been able to put his hands behind his back since he was eight years old and weighed less the 350 pounds. From nine years of age he has had to rely on his minions to wash his back.

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13wineywoman(78 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey USA1, Why such a nasty taste in your mouth? And what have you got against tribes in general? They are more like clans than tribes. Tribes are usually known to be honorable, and trustworthy, clans, not so much. That's how this land was stolen from the tribes by the clans in the first place. J.J. and Capri could both use a lot of ethics training, We all know that some people aren't content to just be wealthy, they have to feel in control. These two obviously can't even control themselves. They both have a terrible case of "fork in mouth" disease. In any other town, they'd have fallen long ago. Youngstown is the only place they can get away with the crap they do, that's why they stay here. J.J. has been associated with corruption for a long time, jail won't hurt him, it'll just give him some time to plan his next escapade. As for Capri being blind to all of this... maybe, after all she doesn't seem to see that her clothes are a disaster on her, soooo, just maybe....

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14ComeOnMan(17 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Going to jail for giving his daughter money for her election campaign?

This is a joke.

Doesn't make sense even if this guy has done other things in the past.

Where do you think she got the other millions she spent? The tooth ferry.

Leave them alone.

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15anothermike(226 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

have to agree...the judge thinks the family won the WVA lotto a few years ago. Money is what gets ALL politicians elected OR appointed just like federal judges. The only amazing thing is that JJ wasn't smart enough to get a few of his rich friends to donate two grand each from his purse. Usually, affluent folks aren't that stupid unless they are politicians and think the laws do not apply to them.........

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16wineywoman(78 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

USA1, Yes, yes, and yes. Do your homework guy. A little history lesson wouldn't kill you. What the hey, it might help you to make a decent argument. As far as this "greatest nation" crap is concerned, you need to get a grip. That may have been true at one time, but it's no longer the case. This nation did not need to be in your word "founded". It was doing just fine until some folks came here under the guise of peaceful co-habitation, and then proceeded to rape pillage and steal everything they saw.Then, they imposed upon their kindly hosts all of the misery they were trying to escape And if that wasn't enough, they had this country built free of charge I might add, on the backs of slaves. I'm sorry you find the facts disturbing, but the truth usually is. Europe emptied its' prisons to send to the new world hoping they'd fall off the earth they thought was flat. I have both tribes and clans in my family. FYI we have fallen behind other nations in many, many, areas, infant mortality being just one, health care, childhood obesity.... the list doesn't stop there. You might take your own advice and check out the encyclopaedia, (the dictionary doesn't have history lessons). Thanks for your time, Granddaughter of an Irishman and a Cherokee Squaw

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