Sammarone, Bozanich Indicted in Marchionda Probe

Ex-MS Consultants CFO Charged in Corruption Probe

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The former chief financial officer for MS Consultants, Ray Briya, was charged in a five-count bill of information filed Thursday morning. 

Special prosecuting attorney Daniel Kasaris charged Briya with two counts of attempted bribery and single counts of tampering with records, grand theft and obstructing justice relating to the investigation of developer Dominic Marchionda of NYO Property Group.  

All counts are fourth-degree felonies, with the exception of the obstruction of justice charge, which is a fifth-degree felony. 

In the first count, Briya is charged with attempting to “promise, offer or give” more than $100,000 in cash and thousands of dollars in meals, gifts and golf benefits over a decade to former Youngstown finance director David Bozanich. The second count charges Briya of promising, offering or giving at least $9,000 in cash to former Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone. 

In the third count, he is accused of defrauding the city of Youngstown by providing a false invoice. Marchionda owed MS Consultants $170,000 for work NYO did on the Flats at Wick Project. 

At Marchionda’s instruction, Briya provided an invoice that falsely represented that MS did $105,000 worth of work on the Erie Terminal Building, another Marchionda project, when MS performed about $8,000 worth of work on the project. Marchionda then submitted the false invoice to the city for payment from funds that could only be used for Erie Terminal. 

The fourth count accuses Briya of stealing between $7,500 and $150,000 from MS over a 15-year span to benefit himself by bribing public officials, including Sammarone and Bozanich. 

The final count accuses Briya of communicating “false information” by lying to a Mahoning County grand jury about the false invoice he provided to Marchionda. 

Each count clarifies that Briya’s actions were done without the knowledge of MS Consultants, its president or other officers of the company. In September 2018, MS Consultants confirmed that it was cooperating with the investigation.

Related Coverage:

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.