Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Corruption Figures' Sentences Cut

Friends of ours: Michael Spano Sr.
Friends of mine: Betty Loren-Maltese, Michael Spano Jr., Charles Schneider

The son of a reputed mob boss and a former lawyer, both convicted four years ago of helping to bilk Cicero out of millions of dollars, have won lighter prison sentences.

U.S. District Judge John Grady reduced Michael Spano Jr.'s sentence by 14 months, to five years and four months. Former attorney Charles Schneider's sentence was cut by two years, to five years and three months.

The two men were convicted of racketeering in 2002 along with former Cicero town president Betty Loren-Maltese; Spano's father, alleged Cicero mob boss Michael Spano, Sr.; and two other co-defendants for using a bogus insurance company to bilk taxpayers out of more than $10 million from 1992 to 1996.

A federal appeals court in September ruled that the defendants should be resentenced because Grady, who presided over the three-month trial, made an error in imposing the original sentences.

Prosecutors argued Tuesday for a longer sentence for Spano and no change for Schneider, but Grady reduced both terms, saying the original sentences placed too much blame on the men for their roles in the scam.

Grady resentenced Loren-Maltese on Monday to eight years in prison - the same as her original sentence.

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