Former Berwyn cop sentenced to 4 years for role in mob-connected burglary ring
April 3, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A former crooked Berwyn cop was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison.
James Formato admitted he couriered mob cash and provided inside law enforcement information to members of the Chicago Outfit while he was still a patrolman for the Berwyn Police Department.
After his arrest, Formato cooperated with the FBI and agreed to secretly record conversations with mobsters and Outlaw biker Mark Polchan. He testified at the trial, providing information that helped convict Polchan, mob boss Michael "the Large Guy" Sarno and three other associates who were involved in bombing a rival video poker business, committing home invasions and jewelry heists netting nearly $2 million.
During his sentencing hearing, Formato told U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, "I need to apologize to the people I took an oath to protect. I made a very bad decision." He went on to say he owes the biggest apology to his teenage son, "I let him down as a father."
Formato's attorney Terry Campbell said Formato became involved with the crime ring after his marriage fell apart and he began abusing alcohol.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tinos Diamantatos acknowledged how helpful Formato's cooperation was to the government's case but said because of the severity of the crimes he committed, "Mr. Formato will deserve each and every day he spends in prison."
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