Thursday, August 20, 2009

Anthony Bruno to be sentenced...

According to the Proviso Herald, a sentencing date has been set in federal court for an economic development consultant who pleaded guilty to tax fraud.

Anthony Bruno, 56, and president of Illinois Development Services Corporation, Inc. of Elmhurst, formerly of Melrose Park, is scheduled to appear in federal court Aug. 25 to receive his sentence as part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

He pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false corporate federal tax return. His plea also encompasses additional conduct relating to corporate and individual tax returns for multiple years.

The charge carries a maximum of three years in prison and $500,000 fine.

Bruno's attorney, Jeff Steinback, said he believes the plea agreement is a fair one and believes the judge's decision will follow suit.

"The judge we're coming before is outstanding and will make a reasonable decision," he said.

Bruno improperly deducted $186,485 on a corporate tax return filed on July 31, 2006, for calendar year 2001. His company, which was called Gray and Associates until 2003, was ordered in 2000 to pay $186,485 in unpaid federal taxes from the 1980s.

According to the indictment, Bruno "was not entitled to deduct the claimed judgment from (the company's) total income."

Bruno claimed a negative income of more than $100,000.

Bruno was involved with Bellwood on a new Metra station that would serve the Bellwood and Melrose Park and has worked on various tax-increment financing projects.

Bruno, who is also a disbarred attorney, attends regular Bellwood Village Board meetings to give reports to the board on economic development projects going on or being researched in the village by his company.

His company was hired by Melrose Park between 1997 and 2005, most notably on the $41 million project to replace the outdated water system, which has been under investigation by federal authorities and the $50 million River Woods senior housing development.

Bruno's consulting work has earned him more than $1.25 million in fees between 1998 and 2005 from Melrose Park, Bellwood, Cicero and Forest Park. School District 209 has also contracted with Bruno's company.

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