Original Case Details
A figure who has been at the center of an alleged extortion scheme alleging public corruption has pled guilty. Dino Bucci, long known as a “bag man” for the now-indicted Macomb County Public Works commissioner Anthony Marrocco made his guilty plea in United States District Court, via videoconference in front of Judge Robert H. Cleland (the courthouse is closed due to the pandemic). Bucci pled guilty to both extortion and theft conspiracy charges. He admitted to extorting money from engineering firms and construction developers by pressuring them to buy Anthony Marrocco political fundraiser tickets. Bucci was allegedly directed by Marrocco to let these people know that if they did not purchase the tickets, they would face “economic consequences.” He also admitted to being part of another scheme, this one being a kickback scheme to steal $96,000 from Macomb Township. Bucci faces up to ten years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Federal prosecutors have indicated that they will be seeking a lesser sentence for Bucci from Judge Cleland due to Bucci’s health issues. Before he is sentenced, Bucci is required to report to the probation department for a pre-sentence interview. Here, a presentence report will be generated and submitted to Judge Cleland for Bucci’s sentencing.
Macomb County Corruption Fallout
Bucci is the latest of a total of twenty-three people who have been indicted in the widespread federal public corruption investigation into Macomb County government. Twenty-one of the people indicted have already been convicted, while one defendant passed away during the legal process. Federal investigators have pointed to Bucci’s vast knowledge of the players and scope of corruption in Macomb County, which came from Bucci’s cooperation with the government. While each case of corruption may not be linked, it is pretty apparent that the corruption was ever-present throughout Macomb County. It has been reported that former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith is negotiating a plea deal to plead guilty to upcoming federal corruption charges of his own. Smith is currently facing ten charges under Michigan state law for misuse of public funds while sitting as Prosecutor. As of this writing, no deal has been made regarding Smith with either his active state case or upcoming federal case.
Dino Bucci faces sentencing in front of Judge Cleland on a tentatively scheduled date of October 1, 2020. Bucci is expected to be a key government witness against the newly indicted Anthony Marrocco. Bucci was considered Marrocco’s next in command, and Bucci is expected to cooperate with the government and testify against Marrocco in the event of a trial. The expectation and requirement to testify on behalf of the government is common in negotiated plea deals that involve multiple defendants. Comments made by Marrocco’s attorney make it seem likely that Marrocco will push his case to trial as the charges have been called political in nature. Bucci was indicted three years ago and during that time, has helped the FBI build their case against Marrocco, which has resulted in the recent criminal charges against him. Bucci has already paid $66,000 of the $96,000 owed in his plea deal as restitution to Macomb Township from kickback money taken. It is alleged that the scheme involving Marrocco started all the way back in 1994, when Bucci first started working for Marrocco.
Any Further Questions?
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