Louis Ciminelli Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison After Dramatic Hearing

NEW YORK – Hearing the judge who was about to sentence him describe how he defrauded the state and conspired to do it, Buffalo developer Louis P. Ciminelli cocked his head as if to say: No, that’s not so.

The judge didn’t like it.

“You can cock your head like that, Mr. Ciminelli, but you know what you did,” U.S. District Court Judge Valerie E. Caproni said angrily. “You knew what you were doing when you deleted your Gmail account.”

What he did, in the eyes of the jury and the judge, was trying to destroy evidence that would eventually be found and contribute to his conviction on bid-rigging charges in July – a conviction that prompted the judge on Monday to sentence Ciminelli to 28 months in federal prison.

Ciminelli will also have to pay a $500,000 fine in the next 30 days, and that will likely be just the down payment on his financial punishment. The judge ordered Ciminelli’s lawyers and prosecutors to work toward determining how much in ill-gotten gains that he should be forced to forfeit.
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