Senior guilty of wire fraud and tax evasion wanted probation, not jail time

Salvatore Petti, at 76 years old, is at an advanced age to start life as a federal inmate-a factor that his attorney, Caroline Ciraolo, emphasized in arguing that he should be sentenced to probation, home confinement, and community service for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty: wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with his long-term embezzlement of funds from the Employees Activities Association (EAA) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) ("Ball Busted," Mobtown Beat, Dec. 12, 2012).

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, though, went with prison time, ordering that Petti serve 15 months incarceration, forfeit to the government about $83,000 in assets, and pay more than $570,000 in restitution to EAA and the IRS, according to a press release from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office and court documents. Petti's crimes were unearthed after U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2009 requested that the SSA's Office of Inspector General audit EAA, and the probe found that Petti had been pocketing EAA proceeds and failing to pay taxes on the ill-gotten gains.

Petti is known in Baltimore for his involvement in Little Italy's bocce courts, where he, Giovanna Blatterman, and other members ran a bocce committee that organized league games-an effort that became highly contentious when a dispute erupted between them and a member of a rival bocce league, Thomas Macchia ("Bocce Brawl," Feature, June 22, 2011). The resulting lawsuit in Howard County ended last year with a $2,750 judgment against Macchia.

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