DETROIT (WWJ) – The former CEO of a Michigan-based garbage hauler has been indicted on nearly two dozen charges as a wide-ranging corruption investigation continues in Macomb County.
Charles “Chuck” Rizzo Jr., who headed up Rizzo Environmental Services, is charged with five counts of bribery and three counts of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with garbage contracts in Clinton, Macomb, and Chesterfield Townships.
Rizzo, 70, is also charged with twelve counts of mail and wire fraud. The indictment says he, his father, and towing company owner Gasper Fiore were involved in at least ten different schemes to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Rizzo garbage between 2013 and 2016, when its majority owner was a private equity firm.
A portion of the money allegedly went to construction costs of Charles Rizzo’s Bloomfield Township mansion. The indictment claims that some of the stolen money was used to pay bribes to public officials in order to maintain and secure additional municipal garbage contracts.
Each bribery charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Each of the mail and wire fraud counts carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The bribery conspiracy counts carry a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
No arraignment date has been set.
“Bribery regardless of how you disguise it, is illegal,” said Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel for IRS Criminal Investigation, in a media release. “Parties who profit and those who pay the bribe will be charged and held accountable for breaking the law. All Americans have a duty to pay their fair share in taxes. IRS – Criminal investigation helps to ensure that all Americans including public officials and contractors, are held to the same standards.”
Rizzo resigned his position with the company in October, 2016 amid an FBI probe. Twelve people have been charged thus far, including some public officials.
Anyone who has information about this case or other allegations of corruption in metro Detroit is urged to call the FBI Public Corruption Task Force at 313-965-2323.