Two corrupt bastards down, many more to go…from MSNBC:
WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY- A two year federal investigation leads to charges against two Luzerne County judges. They are charged with federal fraud and tax crimes. The Eyewitness News I-Team first told you about the investigation late last summer.
Federal investigators including the FBI, U.S. Attorney and the IRS gathered Monday at the Federal courthouse in Scranton to announce charges of fraud and conspiracy against Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (left) and Michael Conahan (right). It all had to do with their involvement with a privately-owned juvenile detention center in Luzerne County. U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson said, “The defendants engaged in fraud by taking millions of dollars from two unnamed persons in connection with the construction, operation and expansion of juvenile detention facilities here in Luzerne County and elsewhere.”
Investigators say the judges issued court rulings that would make sure juveniles were detained even when probation officers recommended that they be released. They also issued court orders that forced the county to use the detention center exclusively. The judges admitted to the charges and will now face prison time. “The judges have stipulated to a sentence of 87 months, just over 7 years in federal prison. The judges further agreed to resign their position as judges within 10 days. With their guilty pleas they face automatic disbarment from the practice of law and they must pay restitution as determined by the courts,” added Carlson.
Federal investigators say they diverted some $2.6 million dollars into their accounts and issued court orders to make sure the Pennsylvania Child Care Center in Pittston Township benefited. They also admitted to taking kick-backs from people connected to the construction and operation of the facility. The U.S. Attorney says the investigation is ongoing and future arrests are possible.