The Chicago Syndicate: Racketeering Conviction for Former Police Chief

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Racketeering Conviction for Former Police Chief

Former Melrose Park Police Chief Vito Scavo was convicted today at his racketeering and extortion trial by a federal jury that deliberated for just a few hours following a seven-week trial.

Scavo had been accused of forcing bars and restaurants -- and even the Kiddieland amusement park -- into hiring private guards from his security firm. Some of those guards were on-duty police officers who were essentially paid twice, prosecutors alleged.

He faces up to 20 years in prison on the racketeering count alone.
Two co-defendants, Gary Montino and Michael Wynn, also were convicted. Montino, a onetime deputy chief in the department, was convicted of racketeering as well as mail fraud. Wynn, a part-time officer, was convicted of mail fraud.

Prosecutors alleged Scavo, who was the suburb's police chief between 1996 and 2006, ran his side business out of the Melrose Park police station and used his extra income to buy luxury items.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Halley Guren had argued Scavo and his cohorts allegedly were stealing from the village, while Scavo's attorney, Thomas Breen, had called him a "copper's cop" who just had a side job.

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