Fumo asks court for permission to travel

Posted: June 20, 2014

Former Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo has provided another clue about his plans.

In a new court filing, Fumo's lawyer asked a federal judge to let the former senator travel without advance approval from his probation officer.

That, Dennis J. Cogan said, would make it easier for Fumo to meet with his "many friends, business, and political contacts" in a hunt for business opportunities, including starting a "consulting business."

No further details were provided.

Fumo is 71, "in poor health," and needs to find work in light of the "enormous amount" he has spent on legal bills and restitution, Cogan wrote in his filing to U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter.

As punishment for his 2009 conviction on corruption charges, Fumo was ordered to pay about $4.5 million in fines and restitution, most of which he has paid. He is fighting an IRS demand that he pay about $4 million more in back taxes.

As Cogan noted in the filing, Fumo lost his $100,000 annual state pension after his conviction. He also lost his law license and a job with a Philadelphia law firm that paid him almost $1 million yearly to drum up business.

Still, Fumo, for decades the most powerful Philadelphia Democrat in the legislature, is not without resources.

According to court testimony and documents, Fumo's net worth is about $3 million - a substantial sum, though down dramatically from the $11 million it was pegged at in 2009 before he began serving a 61-month prison term.

With either his son or his fiancee, Fumo owns a 33-room mansion in the city's Spring Garden section, a beach-block home in Margate, N.J., and condos in Ventnor, N.J. He also gave his fiancee, Carolyn Zinni, his 100-acre farm outside Harrisburg.

"Mr. Fumo wishes to spend substantial time at the other residences," Cogan wrote.

According to Cogan's filing, Fumo needs advance approval from the court or his probation officer, Carmen Vasquez-Ongay, before he can leave Philadelphia and the other eight counties that make up the federal court's Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The district does not include Dauphin County or New Jersey.


cmccoy@phillynews.com

215-854-4821 @CraigRMcCoy

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