They were accused of filing false claims for vehicles that they had intentionally damaged, telling insurance companies the cars were involved in accidents, and then collecting payouts.
Prosecutors reached plea agreements with four of the defendants, who gave statements implicating Forlizzi and Battista, according to the
But when Forlizzi and Battista went to trial, in 2012, three of the co-defendants changed their stories, directly contradicting their earlier statements, and a fourth defendant disappeared and did not testify.
As a result, a judge entered directed verdicts of "not guilty" against Forlizzi and Battista on the insurance fraud charges.
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But that same judge,
Investigators uncovered evidence that Forlizzi and Battista had paid "thousands" of dollars to one witness, and paid to keep another witness out of state during the trial.
Battista and Forlizzi both pleaded guilty earlier this summer to charges of corrupting a witness, suborning perjury, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.
Battista was sentenced on Tuesday to two to three years in prison, a slightly shorter term than Forlizzi received.
Those witnesses were also charged and have pleaded guilty. They are scheduled to be sentenced next month for their roles in the perjury scheme.
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