Tamps Bay Times Key Bank Wiretaps thrown out
Key Bank wiretaps thrown out By Richard DanielsonFormer Times staffer Published Feb. 9, 1993|Updated Oct. 8, 2005 A Hillsborough County judge has thrown out wiretap evidence in the Key Bank fraud investigation, a ruling that could mean the end of a case investigators once promised would ensnare prominent businessmen, Mafiosi, and even the husband of Tampa’s mayor in a drug dealing and money laundering conspiracy. Hillsborough Circuit Judge M. William Graybill’s ruling stripped prosecutors of crucial evidence taken from hundreds of hours of recorded conversations. Defense attorneys, who have attacked the case as politically motivated, cheered the ruling. Prosecutors said they will appeal. “The right to privacy is alive again in Hillsborough County,” said Joseph Ficarrotta, who represents bank president Frank Pupello and his son, bank vice president Michael Pupello.