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Auditor Yost Statement on 56-count Indictment of Former Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante
Columbus – The following statement can be attributed to Auditor of State Dave Yost regarding the indictment of former Niles Mayor Ralph A. Infante, who was indicted on 56 counts today:
“A jury is the ultimate peer review,” Auditor Yost said. “We’re confident our report will be found to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Members of the Auditor’s Public Integrity Assurance Team led the investigation with assistance from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Ohio Attorney General’s office is prosecuting the case in Trumbull County. The grand indicted Infante, who served 24 years as mayor of Niles, on:
- 17 counts of tampering with records (third-degree felony)
- two counts of gambling (first-degree misdemeanor)
- two counts of operating a gambling house (first-degree misdemeanor)
- five counts of money laundering (third-degree felony)
- one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (first-degree felony)
- two counts of theft in office (third-degree felony)
- one count of theft (third-degree felony)
- four counts of bribery (third-degree felony)
- two counts of possession of criminal tools (fifth-degree felony)
- 10 counts of soliciting improper compensation (first-degree misdemeanor)
- one count of unlawful interest in a public contract (fourth-degree felony)
- seven counts of filing false disclosure (first-degree misdemeanor)
- one count of obstructing justice (fifth-degree felony)
- one count of falsification (first-degree misdemeanor)
Also indicted were:
- Judy Infante, the mayor’s wife, with nine counts of tampering with records (F3), one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1) and one count of felony theft.
- The Italian American War Veterans Post No. 39, of Girard, where the Infantes are proprietors, was indicted on two counts of gambling, two counts of operating a gambling house, one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and two counts of possessing criminal tools.
- Scott Schaffer was indicted on two counts of theft in office (F3).
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.