A Broadview Heights man was charged for his role in the theft of more than $3.3 million from the Cuyahoga Heights School District, law enforcement officials reported Thursday.
Dominick Palazzo, 42, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
His brother, Joseph M. Palazzo, was an employee of the school district through 2011. He was sentenced in 2013 to 11 years in prison for the theft.
Officials reported the Palazzos, along with David Donadeo and Dennis Boyles, worked together to defraud the district through dozens of fraudulent billings to sham companies controlled by Dominick Palazzo, Donadeo and Boyles.
“This defendant, along with his brother and friends, stole millions of dollars from the children and taxpayers in Cuyahoga Falls,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “They used fraudulent invoices and fake companies to enrich themselves at the expense of kids.”
“This investigation uncovered a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme laced with a web of financial lies that left a local school district in financial peril,” said Guy A. Ficco, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
Officials said the theft resulted in the district losing a total of $3,333,448.
Joseph Palazzo is still serving his 11 year sentence. Boyles was sentenced to more than two years in prison and Donadeo's case is pending, officials said.