Philly licensing inspector charged with extortion

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A former deputy commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections has been indicted on federal charges alleging that he used his position to funnel money to his beer distributor business.

Authorities said 58-year-old Dominic Verdi was charged Tuesday with conspiracy, extortion and fraud in connection with a south Philadelphia business he co-owned called Chappy’s Beer, Butts and Bets.

Verdi is accused of offering businesses that bought from Chappy’s special protection, which allegedly included giving warnings about surprise inspections, reopening businesses that were not up to code and getting businesses licenses without required paperwork.

Verdi’s attorney says his client denies all the charges and will plead not guilty.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.