FBI intercepts of phone calls of judges and their family members are being used by the U.S. Attorney in Cleveland to steer cases to favored jurists, according to attorneys for Anthony O. Calabrese, III,  Mike Forlani, and otherdefendants.  These lawyers have raised specific concerns about the re-assignment of cases initially forwarded by the Clerk of Court to Judge Donald Nugent and Judge James Gwin.  Mike Forlani's criminal case was initially assigned to Judge Gwin but later re-assigned to Judge Sara Lioi after "the government brought to Judge Gwin's attention certain information that the government believed he should consider in determining whether he should preside over the [Forlani] case," according to Judge Lioi's ruling in USA v. Calabrese.  Sources now confirm that this "information" were telephone calls by Judge Gwin's brother to several female escorts.  These tapes were played for Judge Gwin but sealed only after he agreed to recue himself from the Forlani case.

Judge Donald Nugent was also captured on FBI intercepts, making several phone calls seeking political favors and a job for his girlfriend, causing his recusal from the Calabrese case.  FBI Agent David M. Hardy's recently stated that there is an ongoing investigation of these calls, Viola v. Department of Justice, case no. 16-1411, D.C. District Court, Docket No. 23, pages 11-19.  However, these calls took place almost eight years ago, causing skepticism that any investigation could be ongoing after the statute of limitations has expired.  "They're using these tapes to get the judges to do what they want," a source close to the Forlani legal team said, "and they've gotten Judge Lioi on the highest profile cases because she's the most favorable to the government."

"We hope an investigative reporter will break this story," said Tony Viola, the Plaintiff in the public records case seeking to make all voice recordings public, "because justice is not being properly administered in the Northern District of Ohio."

Tony Viola is the only person in America who proved his innocence at trial yet remains in jail.