Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Crime: Former L&I Deputy Commissioner Indicted on Fraud and Extortion Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA—Dominic Verdi, 58, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was charged today by indictment with Hobbs Act conspiracy, Hobbs Act extortion, and honest services fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

The indictment alleges that Verdi, a former deputy commissioner of the Department of Licenses and Inspections for the city of Philadelphia and a member of the Philadelphia Public Nuisance Task Force, also had an ownership interest in a beer distributor named Chappy’s Beer, Butts, and Bets. The indictment further alleges that Verdi used his official position to coerce Philadelphia bar and restaurant owners to purchase beer from Chappy’s in exchange for favorable treatment from Verdi. The indictment also alleges that Verdi lied to employees of Philadelphia’s Inspector General’s office to conceal his ownership in Chappy’s.

If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 140 years in prison, three years’ supervised release, a maximum fine of $1.75 million, and a $700 special assessment.

The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the city of Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Axelrod.