N.F. Businessman Sentenced For Third Time To Federal Prison

10:00 PM, Jan 7, 2012   |    comments
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Buffalo, N.Y. - Mention John Gross' name just about anywhere in Niagara County and two things will come to mind - his plumbing business and his continuing problems with the law.

On Friday, for the third time, Gross was sentenced to federal prison - 33 months by Federal Judge Richard Arcara.

This latest sentence was sparked by an FBI raid on Gross' business back in 2009.

He pled guilty to failing to report $240,000 in income, and mail fraud and bid rigging involving work that Gross illegally obtained and performed for two Niagara County businesses.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Gross' longtime criminal activities have contributed to the "ever present fog which has been cast over the business environment in Niagara Falls."

This was the second time that Gross was sentenced to prison by the same judge.

Gross took full responsibility for his actions saying, "I have no one to blame but myself. I broke the law and have to accept your punishment."

Judge Arcara noted that Gross had received 60 letters of support from the community. The judge said that Gross "has a heart of gold, but on the other hand has some devil in him too.

Scott Brown: "The judge said Mr. Gross had a total disregard for the law would you agree with that?"

Federal Prosecutor James Kennedy: "Well this is his third time around, so it's hard to argue with that point."

Even Gross' attorney said he cannot reconcile Gross' charitable activities with his criminal ones.

Herb Greenman: "I said to him why do you do these things and his answer was 'unfortunately it's just my nature,' and I told him it's not a good answer but maybe it helps to understand why he does some of the things he does."

Gross' 33 month sentence was the lowest he could have received under federal guidelines.









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