(STL.News) – Former Macomb Township Trustee and Macomb County official Dino Bucci, 60, of Macomb Township pleaded guilty today to extortion and theft conspiracies, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.
According to the plea agreement, for over two decades, Bucci, at the direction of his then boss, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, extorted builders and contractors to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of tickets to Marrocco’s fundraisers. Marrocco directed Bucci to communicate to the builders and contractors that if they did not purchase a sufficient amount of fundraising tickets, they would suffer severe economic consequences. Those consequences included holding up required permits that would financially damage the extortion victims. For over twenty years, Bucci served as Marrocco’s deputy in the Macomb County’s Public Works Department. In addition to his employment as Marrocco’s deputy, Bucci served as an elected Trustee of Macomb Township for over ten years.
The plea agreement also includes Bucci’s admission to a theft scheme by which Bucci, with the help of contractor Chris Sorrentino, stole $96,000 from Macomb Township when Bucci directed Sorrentino to overcharge for paving work at Township properties. Sorrentino then kicked back tens of thousands of dollars in cash to Bucci. The plea agreement requires Bucci to fully reimburse Macomb Township for the money he stole. Under the plea agreement, Bucci faces a sentence of between 108 to 120 months in federal prison on the two conspiracy charges.
Schneider was joined in the announcement by Steven D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sarah L. Kull, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigations.
United States Attorney Schneider said: “Bucci’s guilty pleas today represent a significant milestone in our sweeping corruption investigation in Macomb County. The lengthy prison sentence he faces should be an unambiguous warning to all public officials who consider committing corrupt acts that they will be caught and punished severely.”
“Bucci’s guilty plea further exposes a decades-long pattern of corruption and illegal activity within Macomb County’s elected government,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “The citizens of Macomb County deserve better, and they should rest assured the FBI stands firm with our law enforcement partners to vigorously pursue any elected official who chooses personal gain over the public good.”
“Today’s plea demonstrates our collective efforts to enforce the law and ensure public trust. The sizeable amount of the kickbacks Bucci received represents the degree to which he was cheating the public,” said Sarah Kull, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “It is unacceptable to help yourself to public funds, but if you do IRS-Criminal Investigation will be there to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Macomb County.”
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Michael Bullotta and Steven Cares.