Cafaro sentenced to three years probation - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Cafaro sentenced to three years probation

J.J. Cafaro J.J. Cafaro

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Valley mall magnate J.J. Cafaro will serve three years probation and 150 hours of community service for failing to disclose a donation he made to his daughter, Capri's, failed 2004 congressional campaign against Steve LaTourette.

Cafaro will also have to pay a $250,000 fine.

He said he was humbled and embarrassed by the conviction.

Capri Cafaro, now a state senator, was in courtroom 16-A of the Cleveland Federal Courthouse before Judge Kathleen O'Malley, along with her sister Renee and their mother, Janet, to support him.

Cafaro pleaded guilty last month to making false statements regarding the $10,000 loan, given through an unnamed staffer.

Campaign reports only reflected a $2,000 donation.

O'Malley said Cafaro should have learned from his 2002 conviction for bribing former Congressman James Traficant.

Cafaro served 15 months probation for that incident.

"How could you not have learned from the first time?" O'Malley said.

She said this offense did not rise to the level of bribing a public official, but that she still wanted him to be adequately punished.

"There are a lot of people, because of your wealth, who think the law doesn't apply," she said.

The Department of Justice had recommended he receive between probation and six months in prison, although he could have received up to five years.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government agreed not to pursue any additional charges against J.J. or Capri Cafaro who has maintained that she was unaware of the donation in question.

Capri said she is hopeful that the sentence, particularly the community service, will be beneficial to her father.

"Living a life that has been enriching and one that has been giving back to the community is certainly important, and I think that that's been part of my father's history, but for better or worse, he also has made mistakes, and that is part of the story as well," she said.

 

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