Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Simon Exec Sentenced for Kickbacks

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Simon Exec Sentenced for Kickbacks

Article excerpt

An Indiana man who once held a $600,000-a-year job managing big- box retail construction was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for taking $766,000 in kickbacks from a Springdale-based businessman.

Mark M. Palombaro, 55, of Carmel, Ind., was a senior vice president for Simon Properties Group and also owned an Italian restaurant in Indianapolis, according to a victim impact statement filed at his sentencing.

Palombaro used his influence to get Simon to hire Springdale- based R.E. Crawford Construction to build malls in Seattle and in Laguna Hills, Calif., at a total price of around $15 million. Robert E. Crawford, who ran Crawford Construction, then paid the kickbacks to a company called Abby Inc. -- named for Palombaro's daughter -- and overbilled Simon to cover the costs, plus more.

After the arrangement was discovered, Palombaro was charged with mail fraud, to which he pleaded guilty.

In the victim impact statement, Simon senior associate general counsel Michael Hunter Freese called the scheme "the sort of reprehensible conduct that cannot be tolerated or excused given the duty owed to shareholders and to the investors that place their trust in American corporations. …

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