Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Former Cafaro Company executive embroiled in kickback scandal
The Business Journal of Ohio has a story today on a kickback scandal that it says involved a former Cafaro Company executive and a former executive of Dick Sporting Goods. You can read the story here on pages 1 and 6.
According to court records and the Aug. 5 indictment that the Free Lance-Star has obtained, Benjamin Viloski hatched a scheme with three other men to create fake companies that billed the Cafaro Co. for services conducted for Dick’s Sporting Goods stores at numerous malls that Cafaro Co. owns, including the Spotsylvania Towne Centre. This alleged scam started in 1998 and continued through 2005. At the time, Viloski was acting as the attorney for Dick’s Sporting Goods, the indictment states.
Viloski once handled real estate transactions for the Ohio-based Cafaro Co.
The chief "fake" business named in the indictment is Retail Development Network, Inc. The business pretended to be a consultant or broker firm and billed the Cafaro Co. for work related to Dick’s Sporting Goods that was never performed, the indictment states. The defendants are accused in the indictment of bilkingmore than $140,000 from Cafaro Co. and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the indictment says that the defendants handled millions of real estate transactions.
Once payment was made, the indictment says the money was transferred into the bank account of Joseph Queri Jr., another defendant in the case.
The indictment does not once name the Cafaro Co. or any other current or former employees of the business. The business journal makes the Viloski connection with the Cafaro Co.
The indictment does mention the Spotsylvania mall, stating that Viloski signed an agreement in December 2001 that required the landlord (Cafaro Co.) to pay the fake firm a consulting fee of $2 per square foot for the Dick’s Sporting Goods store in the mall.
You can read the indictment here.