Former Real Estate Attorney for Dick’s Sporting Goods Convicted in Jury Trial
After a Three-Week Trial, a Jury in Utica, New York Convicted Benjamin J. Viloski of Involvement in an Illegal Kickback and Money Laundering Scheme and Making False Statements to Investigators
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York
UTICA, NY—Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, along with Clifford C. Holly, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albany Division, and Charles R. Pine, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, New York Field Office, announced that on Friday, July 29, 2011 a federal jury in Utica, New York convicted Benjamin J. Viloski, age 62, of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering and engaging in transactions in criminally derived property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h); making false statements to federal officials, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001; and two counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; three counts of aiding and abetting concealment money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and 2; and one count of aiding and abetting transactions in criminally derived property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1957(a) and 2. Viloski is scheduled to be sentenced on December 16, 2011. He faces a 5-year sentence for the mail and wire fraud conspiracy; a 20-year sentence for the money laundering conspiracy; a five-year sentence for the false statements charge; a 20-year sentence for each mail fraud charge; a 20-year sentence for each concealment money laundering charge; and a 10-year sentence for the transactions in criminally derived property charge.
Viloski, who worked as both an attorney and a broker/consultant for Dick’s Sporting Goods, was charged with having helped orchestrate a $2 million kickback and money laundering scheme involving the development of new Dick’s Sporting Goods stores across the country, including the Dick’s store in Shoppingtown Mall, Dewitt, NY.
Viloski and others used front entities to accept consulting and broker commission payments on store development projects and secretly pass all or a substantial portion of each payment on to a Dick’s officer and employee who was involved in the scheme. Viloski, who was involved in kickbacks related to 22 different stores, used two such entities—“Retail Development Network, Inc.” and “Shopping Center Real Estate, Inc.”—to help execute the scheme, sometimes passing money through multiple bank accounts to conceal the source and nature of the payments.
The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and is the result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albany Division and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, New York Field Office. Any questions may be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. Clymer in Syracuse, New York at 315-448-0672.
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