Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Disgraced South Florida attorney sent to prison

A disbarred South Florida attorney was sentenced Friday to 43 months in prison for participating in schemes orchestrated by a local crew of mobsters affiliated with the Bonanno crime family of New York.

Kenneth Dunn admitted that he became entangled with organized crime two years ago, conspiring to forge checks, launder money and sell off documents that contained people’s personal information, including their Social Security numbers.
Dunn, of Boca Raton, told a federal judge that his cocaine habit clouded his judgment, causing him to make “horrible, horrible choices.” His co-defendants made fun of Dunn’s addiction, calling him a “crackhead” in phone conversations that were secretly wiretapped by federal authorities, said Dunn’s attorney, Manuel Gonzalez Jr.
FBI agents arrested Dunn and 10 other people from Broward and Palm Beach counties last May, in part because of the hundreds of hours of secretly taped conversations. An undercover agent playing a corrupt businessman had gained the trust of the crew headed by Thomas Fiore, of Boynton Beach, according to court records.
According to federal authorities, Fiore oversaw a host of crimes, from burning down his boxing gym, Round 1 Fitness Center in Royal Palm Beach, to extorting business owners over the placement of vending machines. Fiore, 47, consulted with the Bonanno crime family, one of the five Mafia families, and paid tribute to it, federal officials said.
Since their arrests, Fiore, Dunn and the nine other co-defendants have each pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. Dunn is the third to be sentenced, with co-defendants Nicholas Fiore, 50, of Boca Raton, receiving a 27-month term Wednesday and Frank D’Amato, 49, of West Palm Beach, getting 41 months behind bars Friday.
Dunn, 44, had been a licensed attorney in Florida since 1991. Starting in 2001, he represented a series of businesses sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, most notably Starcash, a payday loan business, and its CEO, Jeanne Leclercq. Leclercq, who once ran an Orlando-area brothel, is now serving an eight-year prison sentence for bilking about $8 million from Starcash investors.
Dunn’s law license was suspended for three years in March 2006 after he repeatedly took money from clients but failed to do the work. He was disbarred last July after he was caught attempting to open a trust account in his law firm’s name — Kenneth J. Dunn P.A. — before his suspension was over.
Before Dunn’s sentencing in Fort Lauderdale federal court, he asked for mercy from U.S. District Judge William Zloch, saying his drug addiction contributed to his actions. Dunn faced up to 57 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.
Zloch grilled Dunn about why he thought he should get a break because of his drug habit. When weighing what punishment to mete out to Dunn, Zloch observed that “if anyone should know better … it should be a lawyer.”
In addition to the prison time, Dunn must pay $815,493 in restitution, the judge ordered.

Source: The Sun Sentinel http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-attorney-racketeering-20100108,0,463514.story


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