April sentencing set for former Greylock banker Michael DiCenzo

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PITTSFIELD — The former Pittsfield banker at the center of a multimillion-dollar loan fraud soon will hear his punishment, nearly six years after pleading guilty.

Michael DiCenzo is scheduled to go before U.S. District Court Judge Mark. G. Mastroianni at 2 p.m. April 2.

But, before a sentence is imposed in a Springfield courtroom, DiCenzo's defense might request that the former Greylock Federal Credit Union officer undergo a cognitive and psychological evaluation, according to the case file.

In recent court appearances, DiCenzo and his attorneys detailed physical ailments that include bladder cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, vision problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In early 2019, DiCenzo, who is in his late 60s, suffered a minor heart attack as well, according to attorney Alan J. Black.

For those reasons, Black asked that DiCenzo not be sentenced to prison. The government has requested a term of 30 months, 40 percent below federal guidelines for the crimes committed: receipt of money through transactions of a credit union with intent to defraud, tax fraud and making false statements to federal officials.

DiCenzo steered millions in improper loans to borrower Jeffrey Pierce from 2006 to 2009, then received kickbacks. On top of that, DiCenzo admits that he stole from two nonprofit groups. In all, the fraud cost the Pittsfield institution about $4 million, prosecutors have said.

At a hearing last year, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow said it must have been hard for the defendant to wait for years to learn what his punishment will be. DiCenzo first was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 16, 2014. That date repeatedly was moved as prosecutors built a case against Pierce, who received the bulk of the fraudulent loans.

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Pierce, a Pittsfield builder, was sentenced in August to 20 months in federal prison.

"I think that's taken a toll on Mr. DiCenzo," Breslow said of delays in sentencing.

Breslow has told the court that his office would work with the defense "to make sure that there's a fair and just and humane sentence."

Along with a possible prison sentence, DiCenzo is expected to be ordered to compensate others for losses. Breslow has recommended that DiCenzo be ordered to make $919,000 in restitution payments to Greylock. The credit union received insurance coverage for a portion of its losses.

The government also wants the former banker to be ordered to pay $2.9 million to Greylock's insurer and $63,000 to the IRS.

Attorney Black has since left the case. DiCenzo now is represented by Springfield attorney Thomas J. O'Connor Jr.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-588-8341.


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