Attorneys for reputed mobster Carmine "The Bull" Agnello have filed a civil suit against the city of Cleveland, claiming police illegally seized property when they raided his scrap yard last week. Agnello has ties to New York's Gambino crime family.
A hearing on the case took place Thursday morning in the courtroom of Judge John O'Donnell. His lawyers asked that his bond be returned because he has not been charged, but the request was denied. Agnello was ordered to remain in the state, but can return to work.
In their filing, lawyers Ian Friedman and Roger Synenberg claim some of the seized property is hampering the operation of Eagle Auto Parts, Agnello's business. But when our 19 Action News crew visited the facility on Thursday, it seemed to be business as usual.
The suit has been moved to federal court, which means Common Pleas Court no longer has jurisdiction over the case. The motion was filed by the city of Cleveland, but prosecutors disagree with the tactic.
"We believe the city of Cleveland law department is ill-equipped to deal with the merits of this issue," prosecutors stated.
Police allege that Agnello filled scrap cars with sand before selling them to recyclers, thereby increasing their weight and the amount he collected for them. They also say Agnello netted $3 million using the practice.
Charity Towing, a business listed in the name of Agnello's wife, Danielle Vangar, is also named as a plaintiff in the suit. It is a business 19 Action News profiled in 2007 for offering cash for donated cars, which is not allowed. Other charities at the time complained the practice was harming their ability to generate donations. After the investigation, Charity Towing stopped the practice.