CLEVELAND, Ohio — The FBI on Tuesday raided the Cleveland places of work of Optima Administration Group, an actual property firm tied to a Ukrainian oligarch which owns a number of downtown buildings, together with One Cleveland Middle, the 55 Public Sq. constructing and the Westin Cleveland Downtown.
This newest raid provides another chapter to town’s lengthy historical past of federal raids.
Wanting again via cleveland.com’s archives, listed below are a number of cases of shock FBI raids.
Drug trafficking, April 2019
Three males had been arrested and one surrendered himself in April 2019 after the FBI raided several homes in Greater Cleveland as a part of a drug investigation, authorities associated to heroin and fentanyl trafficking and cash laundering.
County Commissioner Armond Budish’s workplace, Valentine’s Day 2019
A Valentine’s Day raid shorty earlier than midday by the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Legal Investigation ended after a four-hour search of the places of work of Cuyahoga County Govt Armond Budish. Among the many objects seized had been Budish’s pc and cellphone.
The investigation is ongoing.
Cleveland Metropolis Corridor, December 2017
Brokers from three federal businesses — the FBI, IRS and the Division of Housing and City Improvement staged a raid in the overnight hours December 2017 at Cleveland Metropolis Corridor.
The brokers seized 10 objects, together with information associated to Pioneer Engineering, an organization owned by Khalil Ewais, an engineer and section chief for construction inspection. The division the place Ewais works is a part of town’s Capital Tasks workplace. Ewais, 42, has not been charged within the investigation.
Ewais was sentenced to 18 months in federal jail for utilizing his place to get a contractor to carry out work on his property at a considerably discounted price.
Worldwide Adoption Company, February 2017
The Cleveland FBI raided an international adoption agency — European Adoption Consultants, based mostly in Strongsville — lower than two months after the U.S. State Department barred the company from conducting worldwide adoption companies for 3 years.
The State Division investigation discovered the corporate dedicated a number of violations, together with soliciting bribes and mendacity to officers to have an effect on adoption eligibility, according to a report posted on its website. In some cases, the businesses’ actions led to youngsters being harmed.
In April 2019, Robin Longoria, 58, of Mansfield, Texas, a former worker of the adoption company, pleaded guilty to the charges. Margaret Cole, who lives in Ashtabula County, the proprietor of the now-defunct company, has not been criminally charged.
Fuel stations, November 2016
The FBI and different businesses in November 2016, raided Cleveland-area gasoline stations and companies tied to Amin Salem and members of his household.
Amin Salem and different members of his household, were previously convicted of concocting multi-million-dollar food stamp fraud schemes.
The “Salem Enterprise,” as it’s known as within the criticism, owned or managed at the very least seven gasoline stations and 4 unincorporated farms — which had been used for animal slaughtering — didn’t have a license to slaughter and promote animals
Co-conspirator Jesse Smith did enterprise with Westlake resident Amin Salem. Amin Salem, his son Mohamed Salem and associates Mahmoud Abukhalil and Bernard Whiting and others. Amin Salem and different members of his household were previously convicted of concocting multi-million-dollar food stamp fraud schemes.
Meat from the slaughtering operation was offered to Center Jap eating places and shops within the Cleveland space, based on the criticism. Investigators consider folks on the heart of the investigation additionally illegally dumped waste created by the slaughtering course of.
Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, July 2008
In July 2008, greater than 100 federal brokers fanned out throughout Cuyahoga County, armed with search warrants, and raided authorities places of work, houses and companies. Their targets: county commissioner Jimmy Dimora and auditor Frank Russo.
In what has turn out to be probably the most infamous white-collar crime in county historical past, the raid resulted in felony convictions towards greater than 70 authorities officers, workers, contractors and enterprise folks — nearly all the defendants pled responsible Dimora maintained his innocence.
Dimora was convicted of greater than 30 corruption-related fees and sentenced to 28 years in federal jail, one of many longest corruption sentences for any case nationwide.
Dimora, 63, is in a federal jail in Elkton. His scheduled launch date is Dec. 19, 2036.
Russo was sentenced to 22 years, however as a result of he cooperated with the courts to unravel the corruption scandal, his sentence was reduced by almost eight years in 2019.
Playing homes, Might 1991
Federal brokers swept via town early Might 31, 1991 and arrested 30 former or then-current cops on fees of defending unlawful playing homes arrange by the authorities in a two-and-a-half-year undercover operation.
Indictments charged that the officers, who got here from a precincts all throughout town, acted as guards and supplied details about upcoming police raids. They obtained from $50 to $1,000 an evening for his or her companies, the indictment stated.
In all, 47 folks, together with a Cleveland parks officer and 16 civilians had been arrested.