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Former Aide to Traficant Sentenced

September 26, 2002

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CLEVELAND (AP) _ A federal judge sentenced a former administrative aide to convicted ex-Rep. James Traficant Jr. to six months of home detention Thursday for lying to a grand jury about kickbacks paid to the congressman.

U.S. District Court Judge Lesley Brooks Wells also ordered Henry DiBlasio to pay a $20,000 fine and serve four years of probation.

DiBlasio, 72, a retired attorney, pleaded guilty in June to a single count of perjury for lying to a grand jury when he denied giving kickbacks to Traficant.

DiBlasio worked for Traficant from 1985-98 and was one of the highest paid members of Traficant’s staff.

Prosecutors didn’t specify at the time of his guilty plea how much DiBlasio paid Traficant, but said he pushed envelopes full of cash under Traficant’s private office door.

Traficant, who was expelled from the House by colleagues after his conviction on 10 counts including bribery and racketeering, was sentenced in July to eight years in prison. He has appealed his conviction.

The Youngstown Democrat, who was sent to a minimum-security federal prison in White Deer, Pa., is running for re-election as an independent.

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