(WOIO) - A criminal information has been filed charging 83-year-old Akron resident Stanley Lojek with one count of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery in Federally Funded Programs, Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office, announced on Monday.
Lojek was the President of Harvard Refuse, Inc., located in Cleveland, Ohio. Harvard Refuse, Inc. provided, among other things, parking lot and machine rental to a company identified as Company No. 1 and the joint venture it worked with.
William B. Schatz was the General Counsel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) from 1979 until his retirement in August 2007. During his tenure, the NEORSD had major sewage tunnel contracts including the Mill Creek Tunnel Contract, Phases 2 and 3. Company No. 1, as part of the joint venture, was one of several contractors who were awarded contracts to complete work on Mill Creek Tunnel Contract MCT-2 and Mill Creek Tunnel Contract MCT-3.
The Information states that from in or about 2000, and continuing until on or about April 26, 2007, Lojek conspired with William B. Schatz and Contractor No. 1, who was the President, and subsequently Owner, of Company No. 1, to unjustly enrich William B. Schatz by paying him over $600,000 during the same time period that Contractor No. 1 and the joint venture had disputed claims arising from MCT-2 and MCT-3 pending before NEORSD. These payments were made in an effort to influence or reward William B. Schatz in connection with NEORSD legal settlements.
The information states that conspirators accomplished this by William B. Schatz invoicing Harvard Refuse, Inc. for legal services that were not performed and receiving checks from Harvard Refuse, Inc; Lojek, in turn, invoiced Contractor No. 1 and the Joint Venture for payments not due Harvard Refuse, Inc. Contractor No. 1 and the joint venture, in turn, paid these invoices knowing that the money would be paid to William B. Schatz.
"Today's filing demonstrate our commitment to prosecuting all those involved in corruption and selfdealing in public contracts, whether they are a public official or a private businessman," Dettelbach said.
If convicted, the defendant's sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant's prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin J. Roberts and Daniel J. Riedl, following an investigation by the Cleveland offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
An Information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.