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Bribery

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NEWS
December 19, 1998 | By Donna Leinwand, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
As lawmakers from both parties argued yesterday over whether perjury meets the definition of a "high crime" that the Constitution says is grounds for impeachment, several members of Congress looked to the criminal lawyer's sentencing guide to pin down the severity of the offense. What Rep. Bill McCollum (R., Fla.) found in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual convinced him that perjury is a greater crime than bribery, which the Constitution lists among the grounds for impeachment.
NEWS
April 1, 1993 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The last of five former employees or contractors of the defunct Delaware County Redevelopment Authority charged in a bribery scheme has been sentenced to 10 months in prison and house arrest by a federal judge. Robert Thornton, 61, of Chester, was also placed on two years' supervised release during a hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Weiner. Weiner found that Thornton did not have the financial ability to pay a fine. Thornton was convicted by a federal jury Jan. 13 on six counts of receipt of a gratuity by a public official and one count of lying to the grand jury.
NEWS
December 17, 1991 | By Lyn A.E. McCafferty, Special to The Inquirer
A former employee and a former contractor with the defunct Delaware County Redevelopment Authority were sentenced in U.S. District Court yesterday to five years' probation for their guilty pleas on bribery charges. Former authority technician Joseph Abate, 65, of Clifton Heights, admitted Sept. 16 that he received $1,200 in cash over a three-year period from Broomall builder James Doyle. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy R. Rice said his office recommended lenient treatment for Abate and Doyle because of their cooperation in the ongoing probe of the redevelopment authority.
NEWS
January 24, 1990 | By Karen Weintraub, Special to The Inquirer
A $60 pair of sneakers cost a Riverside man more than they were worth late last week. Aihan Akcakaya, 30, of Scott Street, was accused of trying to shoplift from the Port's store on Route 130 several weeks ago and then charged Thursday morning with trying to bribe the guards not to testify against him. After being told by Port's guards Charlie Craige and Don Knuth that Akcakaya had offered them $1,000 not to testify against him, the Willingboro...
NEWS
April 9, 1986 | By Tim Weiner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ten purchasing agents and managers from banks, businesses, schools and housing authorities across the nation were indicted by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia yesterday on charges of taking kickbacks from a Montgomery County maintenance-supply company in exchange for buying the company's products. In a continuing commercial-bribery investigation that has resulted in more than a dozen convictions, the grand jury charged that the purchasing agents defrauded their employers by taking the bribes from Eveready Maintenance Supply Inc. The now-defunct company, formerly at 1341 Susquehanna Rd., Rydal, and its owner, Samuel Persky, pleaded guilty to related charges in 1984.
NEWS
April 22, 1995 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A South Philadelphia plumbing contractor pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to paying $3,200 in bribes to two Philadelphia Housing Authority officials to help him get emergency plumbing and heating contracts with the authority. Gerald DiCicco, co-owner of Plumb-Town Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of bribery and one count of mail fraud during a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Robert S. Gawthrop 3d. Gawthrop set sentencing for Aug. 23. DiCicco, 46, of the 1000 block of Tasker Street, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined $250,000 on the bribery count, the more serious of the charges.
NEWS
October 10, 1990 | By Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
The prosecutor said the former city judge, the lawyer and the judge's longtime sidekick had been involved in bribery. Defense attorneys insisted it was something else. But as the bribery conspiracy trial of former Common Pleas Judge Kenneth S. Harris, attorney Thomas L. McGill Jr. and former bar owner Leon Brown got under way in federal court yesterday, both sides agreed that money was the defendants' driving force "That's what this case is all about - money," federal prosecutor Laura A. Ingersoll told the jury in her opening speech.
NEWS
May 30, 1986 | By Kuae Noel Kelch, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Common Pleas Court judge yesterday ordered Jerome Lightman, who had been convicted of bribing city employees and illegally dumping hazardous chemical wastes, to begin serving a 1 1/2-to-4-year prison sentence July 29. Judge Curtis Carson refused to reduce Lightman's sentence and gave him 60 days to wrap up his business affairs. Lightman, president of the Lightman Drum Co. of Berlin, Camden County, was convicted in 1981 of 31 counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy for paying $14,000 to two city workers to allow the disposal of toxic-waste drums at the old Fort Mifflin landfill in Southwest Philadelphia between 1972 and 1976.
NEWS
December 24, 1986 | By Christopher Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nine numbers writers who were arrested in October along with nine police officers as a result of an undercover police operation pleaded guilty yesterday to paying bribes to seek protection for their gambling operations. In entering their pleas, the nine told Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Stiles that they intended to testify against other defendants in the case. They previously have been called as prosecution witnesses and have testified before a grand jury investigating the case.
NEWS
October 15, 1988 | By Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
The tape recordings played to the jury were clear but the evidence the jury heard was shaky. Duvalle Everette, 48, a former supervisor at a city Sanitation Department maintenance garage in Southwest Philadelphia, was receiving money from two of his watchmen, who testified they were paying him bribes to get extra overtime last year. The men said Everette agreed not to hire a third worker so they could work additional hours and double their salaries between February and April of 1987.
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NEWS
February 3, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
Reading's former city council president was ordered Monday to serve two years in prison, becoming the first public official sentenced as part of a bribery investigation that has also implicated mayors in two Pennsylvania cities. Francisco Acosta, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in August, admitting that he accepted a $1,800 bribe meant to buy his support to repeal the city's anticorruption ordinance, which put caps on political contributions and barred government contractors from donating to campaigns.
NEWS
January 9, 2016 | George Will
"Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. "   - Louis Brandeis The impulse to ferret corruption from politics corrupts the criminal justice system when it causes overzealous prosecutors and judges to improvise novel interpretations of the law of bribery. Consider Robert McDonnell's case. Virginia's former Republican governor has been sentenced to prison for actions that he could not have reasonably anticipated would be declared felonies under a dangerous judicial expansion of federal law defining bribery of public officials.
NEWS
December 20, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
Former Philadelphia Sheriff John D. Green's two decades in office were plagued by troubling audits and allegations from city and state watchdogs of cronyism, mismanagement, and fraud. On Friday, federal authorities added a new wrinkle to the legacy of the retired lawman, accusing him of taking bribes worth six figures from a top campaign donor and friend who was granted a virtual stranglehold over $115 million in Sheriff's Office contracts. Prosecutors allege that Green, 68, all but handed over the reins of one of the major duties of his office - managing court-ordered sales of foreclosed properties - to advertising and title firms owned by James R. Davis Jr., 65, of Wyncote.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A WEEK AFTER he was charged in an 85-page indictment with U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and three others, Herbert Vederman, a lobbyist and former deputy mayor, appeared in court yesterday before a federal magistrate. A short, thin man with white hair, dressed in a dark suit and wearing glasses, Vederman, 69, did not speak during his brief appearance before Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter. Upon agreement by prosecutor Eric Gibson, a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, and Vederman's attorney, Catherine Recker, Vederman, who has not been in custody, was released on a $100,000 personal-recognizance bond.
NEWS
July 10, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A military contractor at the center of what the Defense Department has described as the largest contracting and bribery case to come out of the Iraq War was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in federal prison Wednesday. But as George H. Lee Jr. saw it, he did little, if anything, wrong. In a rambling speech to U.S. District Judge Joel H. Slomsky, Lee, 72, a Montgomery County native, said he was remorseful, yet repeatedly denied having done anything to be remorseful for. Despite pleading guilty to bribery this year, Lee rejected prosecution claims that he gave more than $1 million in cash, jewelry, spa treatments, and hotel stays to Army officials who steered $20 million in contracts his way. "I know what I did was wrong, but I just have this feeling that I didn't do anything wrong," he said.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
TWO STATE representatives and a former one are expected to be charged today in the sting investigation that was buried by Attorney General Kathleen Kane and then resurrected by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. The current representatives are Michelle Brownlee, 58, and Louise Bishop, 81, a minister who hosts a weekday gospel-radio show. They allegedly were caught on tape accepting money from lobbyist-turned-informant Tyron Ali. The former representative facing charges is Harold James, 64, who's also a former police officer.
NEWS
December 19, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writers
U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, the chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, on Wednesday called state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane "asleep at the switch" and said he had no faith in his fellow Democrat as the state's top law enforcement officer. The harsh assessment came a day after criminal charges were announced against two state lawmakers from Philadelphia in a bribery probe Kane had declined to prosecute. Brady's comments were a clear sign of the political damage Kane has sustained within her own party from her handling of the corruption probe.
NEWS
December 17, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Philadelphia prosecutors plan to announce criminal charges Tuesday against two more elected officials ensnared in the undercover sting investigation that state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane rejected as too flawed to prosecute. District Attorney Seth Williams is expected to announce charges against State Reps. Vanessa Lowery Brown and Ronald G. Waters, both Philadelphia Democrats, for allegedly accepting cash from an undercover operative, according to people familiar with the matter.
NEWS
November 27, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A tow truck driver with a checkered history in the city's rough-and-tumble business of clearing wrecks was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison Tuesday for bribing a city dispatcher to gain a leg up on his competition. By paying for advance notice on the locations of fender benders and disabled vehicles reported to the city's call center, Stepfon Flowers, 24, sidestepped the city's rotation list for distributing towing work, and "undermined the safety of the citizens of Philadelphia," U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno said.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THE CO-OWNER of a Frankford auto-body shop who pleaded guilty to bribing a police dispatcher for information in the tow-truck business was sentenced yesterday to three years of probation. William Cheeseman, 43, of Delran, N.J., was ordered by U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno to spend the first six months under electronically monitored home confinement. The judge said Cheeseman may leave his home to go to work, for medical appointments or for religious reasons. Robreno also barred Cheeseman from the towing business in Philadelphia during his probation, but did not prohibit him from doing other work.
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