Buffalo, N.Y. - Jim Mazzariello was defiant following his arraignment Thursday afternoon on federal bribery charges.
It was last December when the FBI, IRS, Buffalo police Internal Affairs and state agencies swooped in on his business, Jim Mazz Auto on Bailey Avenue, seizing records.
According to Wednesday's federal indictment, Mazzariello, his son Adam, an office manager and his tow truck drivers for years systematically bribed Buffalo Police officers at accident scenes, and a city dispatcher, to either be the first on the scene of tows, or once there to be awarded tows over other tow truck companies.
The indictment charging that "certain Buffalo police officers including "Officer #1" prevented other tow truck operators from towing damaged vehicles and ordered them to leave the scene of accidents."
A source tells us Officer #1 was Jeffrey Mott, Mott committed suicide over the summer.
The indictment also alleges that Adam Mazzariello offered a "city radio dispatcher a sum of money for each instance the dispatcher provided Mazzariello with early notification of an accident."
But Jim Mazzariello claimed he went to the FBI years ago with allegations that his drivers were being shaken down for money by police officers at accident scenes in order to be given tows, and that now he's being retaliated against for bringing the alleged corruption to light.
Jim Mazzariello: "I have fought corruption throughout my entire career in the city of Buffalo, because of that, now I'm a victim of it. The truth will come out we're not afraid of the truth I will tell you that."
The three defendants face up to five years in prison.
Mazzariello is also facing two federal income tax charges.
Police Commission Dan Derenda tells Scott Brown that his department is working with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office in what's described as an on going investigation.