BUFFALO, NY--  An Alden man and his son pleaded guilty to paying bribes to Buffalo Police officers.

The U.S. Attorney' office in Buffalo says James Mazzariello, Jr., 62, and his son Adam Mazzariello, 35 admitted Tuesday in federal court to conspiring to pay bribes to Buffalo Police officers.

James Mazzariello, Jr., also pleaded guilty to making and subscribing a false tax return.

“In all public corruption cases, our goal is to identify those public officials who violate the trust of the people,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. in a released statement. “As prosecutors, however, we are constrained by the evidence that we are able to gather. Here, that evidence culminated in today’s pleas. We will continue, along with the FBI, Buffalo Police and NYS, our efforts to identify and bring to justice any police officer who may have accepted illegal bribes. Since sunlight is the best disinfectant, we expect that this case will clean up the way towing services are provided in the City of Buffalo.”

According to the complaint, James Mazzariello, Jr. owned and Jim Mazz Auto, Inc. and National Towing Inc.
Adam Mazzariello supervises the towing services of his father's businesses.

Investigators say between January 2009 and May 2012, Jim Mazz Auto tow truck operators, at the direction of the defendants, made bribe payments to certain Buffalo Police officers for assisting in helping their drivers tow vehicles involved in accidents in the City of Buffalo.  The complaint states the operators used their own money to make the bribes, and were then reimbursed by both defendants.
The investigation uncovered 19 different bribe payments, about $500, made by Jim Mazz Auto tow truck to Buffalo Police officers.  Investigators say the bribes resulted in $43,022.74 in revenue to Jim Mazz Auto. 

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on August 24.  They both could face up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.