New charges against man accused of bribing cops

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – There are new charges against the owner of a tow truck company already accused of bribing City of Buffalo police officers.

James Mazzariello, Jr., owner of Jim Mazz Auto, Inc., was indicted Wednesday on two charges of filing false tax returns. The 58-year-old Marilla man, along with his son, 33-year-old Adam Mazzariello, and employee, 29-year-old Christopher Mahoney, were indicted in October 2013 for allegedly conspiring to bribe City of Buffalo police officers.

The indictment alleges that between 2006 and 2012, all three men were making cash payment to police officers, and in exchange, those officers allegedly failed to radio dispatch at an accident scene and called Jim Mazz Auto instead. The officers also allegedly stopped other tow truck companies from working at a scene, and encouraged accident victims to use Jim Mazz Auto.

James Mazzariello says it was he who first reported the corruption in the city’s tow truck industry to authorities, and says these charges amount to retaliation against him for bringing the bribes to light. He, his son and employee all pleaded not guilty last October.

If convicted on charges of conspiring to bribe police officers, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Now prosecutors say in 2009 and 2012, James Mazzariello filed false corporate and personal tax returns.

Each charge of failing false tax returns carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

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