Feds Ask to Revoke Chuck Rizzo's Bond for Attempting to Tamper With Witness

January 10, 2018, 12:45 AM by  Allan Lengel

Charles B. Rizzo

Charles B. Rizzo, the former trash hauling magnate, who owned Rizzo Environmental Services, can't seem to stay out of trouble, even while he awaits his March 13 sentencing on bribery and other federal charges.

On Tuesday, the U.S Attorney's Office in Detroit filed a motion asking that a judge  revoke his bond and put him in jail for attempting to "intimidate, retaliate against, and tamper" with a government witness in his case.

Rizzo pleaded guilty on Nov. 9. He faced charges of bribery and scheming with others to steal hundreds of thousand of dollars from Rizzo Environmental Services between between 2013 and 2016 when the majority owner was a New York-based private equity firm. The company has since been sold to  GFL (Green For Life) Environmental.

The incident in involving the witness took place the evening of Dec. 16 at the Tap Room in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino. The key witness provided the FBI with incriminating evidence against him.

The document refers to the person only as "Witness A." 

The witness, only referred to in the court document as "Witness A,"  went to the MGM casino hotel with his wife to watch a sporting event and have dinner at the Tap Room, a bar-restaurant in the casino.

A short time after they arrived at the Tap Room, the witness saw a former driver for Rizzo Environmental Services, who told him he was there for a party for Titan, a company owned by Rizzo and his father Charles P. Rizzo. As a result of that,  he witness and his wife left and went to "the round purple bar" inside the MGM hotel.

Shortly after,  the witness received a text from Rizzo's father: “I heard your [sic] here at MGM, I would love to say hi. Let me know where you’re at.” Rizzo himself was forbidden, as part of his condition of bond,  to have contact with witnesses in his case. The order did not apply to his father.

The witness replied: “I am at the round purple bar.” The father replied, “I’ll come to see you in about 20.”

Later, the father sent a text to the witness stating, “I’m here.”

At 7:49 p.m., while the witness was using a restroom near the purple bar, he received a follow up text from the elder Rizzo  saying:  “Where are you?"

The witness replied:  “Restroom, coming back now.”

The witness returned to the purple bar, expecting to see the father. Instead, the son, Charles B. Rizzo was there.

According to the federal document:

Chuck Rizzo began by berating Witness A, stating that it was Witness A’s fault that Rizzo was going to jail for as long as he was. Rizzo then chastised Witness A for telling federal authorities that their theft scheme from Rizzo Environmental Services (RES) started in 2014, which put the total of the stolen money over $500,000. 

Chuck Rizzo continued discussing his case with Witness A, attempting to influence him to say that a portion of the money that Rizzo was stealing from RES actually amounted to other people paying Rizzo back money that Rizzo had given them previously...

Finally, before his communication with Witness A concluded, Rizzo told Witness A that he (Witness A) needed to meet with Rizzo’s attorneys (presumably for the purposes of signing an affidavit that Rizzo could use at sentencing).  Witness A had previously declined repeated offers to meet with Rizzo’s attorneys because he did not feel comfortable doing so. Instead, Witness A proposed that he answer questions submitted through his (Witness A’s) own attorney. Finally, Rizzo told Witness A that if Witness A met with Rizzo’s attorneys, “I could help you."

An FBI agent interviewed the witness and his attorney last Wednesday and the government reported Rizzo's bond violation to U.S. Pretrial Services as well as Rizzo's attorney.

The government concludes the court document by saying:

In order to protect witnesses and the sanctity of the judicial process, both in this case and others, and to deter the defendant and future defendants from witness tampering and ignoring critical conditions of pretrial release, the government respectfully asks the court to revoke bond and order Chuck Rizzo into the custody of the United States Marshals Service.

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