Former Dukakis Aide Sentenced To 2( Years
BOSTON (AP) _ The former top education adviser to Gov. Michael S. Dukakis received a 2 1/ 2 -year prison term and was ordered to repay the $80,000 he admitted he helped skim from an adult education program he ran.
Gerard T. Indelicato, 42, of Norwood was ordered Friday by U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock to surrender to federal officials Aug. 5. Woodlock did not decide where Indelicato will serve his term.
The sentence was half the five-year term Assistant U.S. Attorney Ralph Gants had sought.
″He saw the hopes and dreams of these people for adult education to be his hopes and dreams for a Cape Cod house or a boat,″ Gants said.
Indelicato administered an adult education program designed to help immigrants and the illiterate.
He was considered the mastermind of a plan that involved paying inflated classroom rent and receiving some of the money back, taking the salaries of fictitious employees and skimming funds indended to pay for classroom renovations.
He pleaded guilty in April to five charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion in a scheme with three others accused of bilking the program of some $80,000.
Indelicato would be eligible to seek parole in 10 months, Gants said, but would likely serve between a year and 18 months.
In a plea bargaining agreement, Indelicato testified in the trial of Michael Freedman, whom federal prosecutors called one of the scheme’s ″minor players.″ Freedman, whose trial ended in a mistrial, pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud in a plea bargain last month and received a suspended sentence.
Before Indelicato’s sentencing, he apologized ″to the citizens who entrusted me with public responsibility because I did not live up to that.″
His case centered around activities that began between 1979 and early 1983 and ended a few weeks before Dukakis named him as his chief education adviser.
Indelicato was the highest-ranking member of Dukakis’ administration to face criminal indictment. The Democratic presidential contender condemned Indelicato’s activities and said his administration is cooperating with all investigations, including two pending state probes.
Woodlock also sentenced Joseph Indelicato, Gerard’s older brother, to two years in prison on a related conviction. He also must pay a $22,000 fine.
Sentencing was delayed for a third convicted conspirator, Antonio B. Perrotta.
The judge said Indelicato also is cooperating with a pending federal investigation, the details of which have not been revealed.
Earlier this week, Indelicato pleaded innocent to state charges stemming from his activities as Dukakis’ education adviser and from his term as president of Bridgewater State College. The charges include forgery, larceny, conflict of interest, tax evasion and theft.