Friday, February 11, 2011

DeRose friend and cohort gets 71 counts of fraud dropped like a hot potatoe

Anyone think DeRose cohort Tony Ianne will see one hour of jail time?  

Along with the DeRoses' he's just part of the "family" who owns and runs Pueblo along with the Carleo's, whose dumbass son tried to rob the casino in Las Vegas.  No wonder there is an air of arrogance that shrouds these people.  

We know why this deal had to be made by the DA and everyone involved.  Because God knows everyone in town is involved!  How do you jail an entire city?!  Gag me! 

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 12:00 am
The central figure in one of the city's largest mortgage fraud schemes will see nearly all of the charges against him disappear with a single plea.

 Anthony Joseph Ianne, 50, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime in exchange for the dismissal of 71 other counts including a violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Act.

The case against Ianne's co-defendant, John Valle, also will be dismissed.  Ianne is scheduled for sentencing in May and faces up to six years in prison, unless District Judge David Crockenberg finds extraordinary aggravating circumstances, in which case the maximum sentence will be 12 years.

But according to the agreement, Crockenberg will have all of the sentencing options available to him, including prison, a community corrections facility or probation.

District Attorney Bill Thiebaut said he stands by the agreement that sweeps away nearly six dozen felony charges as well as two separate indictments alleging witness intimidation.
"The plea agreement speaks for itself," Thiebaut said in a statement Thursday. "I am confident that at sentencing, and after arguments are made by the prosecution and the defendant’s counsel, the court will impose a just sentence that will advance the goals of the safety and economic well-being of our community."

 A Pueblo grand jury indicted Ianne on Dec. 7, 2009.
 He was accused of enlisting others to purchase homes from his inventory of rentals, with guarantees about tenant assistance and rental income.

 The District Attorney's Office  collected  most  of   the documents relating to 18 transactions involving four buyers.  The indictment charged Ianne with falsifying documents and misrepresenting the income of those buyers to loaning institutions to make the loan applications appear more favorable than they were.

In some cases, according to the indictment, documents were forged, suggesting that the borrowers were employed by Ianne's restaurant, Rosario's.  The agreement includes a two-page preamble that, in part, blames the freewheeling nature of the real estate business in the mid-2000s for the ease with which the frauds were accomplished.  

"Essentially, the mortgage lenders were simply loaning money on ‘stated’ income," the agreement said. "Thus, the scrutiny that in the past decades had been used by the lenders to prevent fraud seemed to disappear in the last decade."

But the preamble also said that Ianne was willing to "step forward and acknowledge his own wrongdoing."

"While he has pleaded not guilty to the indictment, he knows he committed the offense to which he is about to plead guilty," the document said.

The statement claims the grand jury had to rely only on the documents relating to the transactions and on testimony from witnesses, many of whom were immunized "co-participants," to reach its decision.

Also, some of the witnesses had "credibility issues" the plea said.
The document suggests that the breadth of the indictment was a result of the grand jury being diligent.

"In an effort to be thorough and not overlook any potential crime for any of the transactions, the grand jury issued an indictment charging the defendant with 71 different ways in which the defendant committed theft and computer crime," the document said.

In addition to seeing the mortgage fraud charges go away, the two cases against Ianne of witness tampering also will be dismissed and Ianne will not be required to pay back any restitution to the victims of the scheme.

Restitution to all of the victims, including the mortgage companies that were swindled, is impossible, Thiebaut said.

"This is not a case of buyer beware. Buyers were co-participants," Thiebaut said. "Restitution was impossible to assess given the limitations on the evidence that was available to the grand jury. And the key mortgage lenders that might be considered victims are no longer in business."
Thiebaut noted that Ianne still could be fined as much as $500,000.

The case followed a winding path to get to Thursday's plea.

The two witness tampering cases sprung from the grand jury investigation into the mortgage fraud. One case involved one of the four buyers, William Dotson, while another case involved Ianne's former accountant, Tami Cornelison.

 According to the agreement, both Cornelison and Dotson wanted the cases dismissed.
 Cornelison since has been sued by Ianne, alleging fraud and the misappropriation of nearly $300,000 from his restaurants, Rosario's and Tony's Chop House.

The winding path also included a special inquiry into Thiebaut's office, looking into a possible leak of grand jury information to Ianne's attorney, Randall Jorgensen.  A special prosecutor found no wrongdoing in the office.

Before the mortgage fraud indictment was handed down, Jorgensen criticized Thiebaut's use of the grand jury, joking that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.
But Thiebaut said then that his office was committed to prosecuting white-collar crime and that grand juries were particularly useful in such sprawling and complicated cases.

On Thursday, Thiebaut said he still was committed to using the grand jury to attack white-collar crime.

"Unlike traditional criminal offenses, white-collar crime is not easily defined and the conduct involved is often elusive," Thiebaut said. "Our office has found that it does not pass as merely unethical conduct but is characterized by illegal deceit, concealment and violation of trust. I will continue to utilize the grand jury judiciously to prosecute white-collar crime to the best of our ability in order to protect the safety and economic well-being of our community.”

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