Former Philly L&I official indicted on fraud and extortion charges

    A former deputy commissioner for Philadelphia’s Licences and Inspections department was brought up on charges of fraud and extortion earlier today.

    Dominic Verdi, 58, of Philadelphia, was charged by indictment alleging he used his official position to coerce Philly bar and restaurant owners to purchase beer from Chappy’s Beer, Butts, and Bets, a distributor in which he had an ownership interest, in exchange for favorable treatment, said a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office.

    Verdi was formerly employed as a deputy commissioner for Philadelphia’s Licences and Inspections and the Philadelphia Public Nuisance Task Force.

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    The indictment also alleges that Verdi lied to employees of Philadelphia’s Inspector General’s office to conceal his ownership in Chappy’s, said the statement.

    If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 140 years in prison, three years supervised release, a maximum fine of $1.75 million, and a $700 special assessment.

    The case was originally investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the City of Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Axelrod.

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