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Ex-Albano aide gets prison term

Republican, The (Springfield, MA) - July 19, 2007

Author/Byline: BUFFY SPENCER, STAFF, The Republican (Springfield, MA)

Edition: ALL
Section: NEWS
Page: A01
The federal judge said he believes the defendant knew illegal activity was going on at his bars.
SPRINGFIELD - Anthony M. Ardolino, a former chief of staff for ex-Mayor Michael J. Albano, was sentenced yesterday to a year in federal
prison in a fraud case linked to his downtown bars.
Ardolino, 37, had pleaded guilty on March 19 in federal court to one count of conspiracy and four counts of tax fraud.
Two co-defendants - Ardolino's brother, Chester J., a former Springfield police officer, and Matthew Campagnari, an East Longmeadow
bar owner and developer - were sentenced on Tuesday for tax fraud and conspiracy. Chester J. Ardolino received a year sentence and
Campagnari received an 18-month sentence.
In a case that was spawned in the midst of the city's long-running public corruption probe, the charges stemmed from the Ardolinos'
hidden ownership in the Civic Pub and Pour House, two downtown bars.
The case involved unreported income and payments to employees under the table without paying taxes.
Anthony Ardolino's lawyer, Peter Murphy, argued unsuccessfully that his client be given home confinement and a fine instead of prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor set the prison term and a fine of $10,000 for Ardolino.
Ponsor allowed Ardolino to wait until Sept. 10 to report to prison after Murphy asked for a date after Ardolino's first son's birthday on Sept.
Murphy had asked Ponsor to consider Anthony Ardolino as having less participation in the conspiracy than his brother and Campagnari,
thus reducing the sentencing guidelines for the offenses. He said that Anthony Ardolino was seldom at the clubs and never paid any of
the employees in cash.
"He was really akin to a stockholder," Murphy said.
Ponsor replied, "That's a good try, but I'm afraid I'm not persuaded. . . . It's hard for me to believe he didn't know employees were being
paid under the table."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jorge Almonte had asked Ponsor to sentence Ardolino to the high end or middle range of the federal sentencing
guidelines of 12 to 18 months.
Ponsor had set the amount of a minimum of $115,000-$120,000 of tax loss for which Ardolino was responsible.
Ponsor ruled against a request by the prosecution to place Ardolino in a higher sentencing category because he was chief of staff for
former Mayor Michael J. Albano at the time of his actions.
The judge said the allegations Ardolino misused his public position, most of which Murphy said Ardolino refutes, did not include acts
relevant enough to the conspiracy.
Almonte said, "He could have used the job to help the public." Instead, Almonte said, he used it to help himself and his friends.
Ardolino told Ponsor that words cannot express how sorry he is.
"I was younger, I was foolish," he said, saying he is a better person and community member now.
(COLOR) Anthony M. Ardolino
Record: MERLIN_4877113
Copyright: Copyright, 2007, The Republican Company, Springfield, MA. All Rights Reserved. Used by NewsBank with Permission.