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Citizens Alliance

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NEWS
June 10, 2006 | By John Shiffman INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The executive director of the charity at the center of the FBI and IRS investigation of State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D., Phila.) has stepped down from her post. Ruth Arnao, who also worked for Fumo's Senate staff from 1984 to 2004, helped the senator form Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, the South Philadelphia nonprofit, in 1991. She became executive director in 1999. Arnao's lawyer, Joel L. Frank, said yesterday that Arnao had submitted the resignation in late 2005, but resigned only last week, after a suitable replacement had been found.
NEWS
February 7, 2007 | By John Shiffman and Larry Eichel, Inquirer staff writers
Vincent J. Fumo - state senator, banker, lawyer, farmer - is worth more than $20 million. He owns a 33-room mansion in Philadelphia, a 100-acre farm near Harrisburg, and houses in Margate, N.J., and Florida. Yet despite his wealth, grand jurors said, Fumo also subscribed to the financial philosophy, "A person is best advised to spend other people's money. " "Fumo often referred to this goal," the indictment says, "by the acronym OPM. " Other people's money came from four basic sources, prosecutor John Pease said: state tax dollars, bridge tolls, the Independence Seaport Museum, and the neighborhood charity Fumo controlled, Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods.
NEWS
December 16, 2008
The head of Citizens Alliance, a nonprofit if you apply the term charitably, has expressed indignation that the state is investigating the group's finances. Maybe Christian DiCicco, 35, feels that way because, as the executive director of Citizens Alliance, he's been driving a Cadillac Escalade provided by the charity. But those of us paying for our own rides think Attorney General Tom Corbett's probe is long overdue. Citizens Alliance, the South Philly group founded by aides of former state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, has operated as Fumo's personal piggy bank for years.
NEWS
July 14, 2009 | By CHRIS BRENNAN, brennac@phillynews.com 215-854-5973
The nonprofit group known as Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods was a crown jewel in the political empire of former state Sen. Vince Fumo. With that empire in ruins and Fumo likely heading to prison after being sentenced today on federal corruption charges, a big question remains: What becomes of Citizens Alliance and all it came to own? Consider Passyunk Avenue, the bustling and gentrifying South Philly stretch at the heart of the Citizens Alliance world. The nonprofit owns at least 14 properties on or near the avenue and has sold others after rehabilitating them for new businesses.
NEWS
December 11, 2008 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An ex-butler for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo testified yesterday that he thought the nonprofit formed to help revitalize South Philadelphia was actually Fumo's company. "He seemed in charge of it," said Matthew Fonseca, who served as Fumo's butler from February 2004 to February 2005 and is now a professional polo player. "He seemed to be the boss. " Fonseca said that he saw workers from Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods arrive at Fumo's Spring Garden mansion and haul away trash, shovel snow, power-wash a patio, and even put up Christmas lights.
NEWS
November 23, 2003 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
One of the anonymous benefactors who have supported a wealthy nonprofit group with ties to powerful State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo surfaced last week, but its exact role remained a mystery. Peco Energy Co. acknowledged that it had made charitable contributions to the nonprofit, known as the Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods. But neither Peco nor Fumo would say how much the electric giant's donations were worth. It thus remains unclear how much the Peco contributions would explain a larger puzzle about the Fumo nonprofit: Who, exactly, was the donor who gave the group a whopping $11 million donation last year?
NEWS
March 23, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
CONVICTED FORMER state Sen. Vince Fumo is seeking an early end to his three-year term of supervised release under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Probation Office. In a motion filed yesterday, Fumo's lawyer, Dennis Cogan, asked U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter to terminate Fumo's three-year supervised release after more than 13 months. "His punishments have been considerable and he has suffered much," Cogan wrote. "He is now almost 72 years of age. His health is not good and his financial losses have been considerable.
NEWS
January 18, 2004 | By Craig R. McCoy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Besides the Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund, three other nonprofits and two charter schools backed by State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo have received $36 million in donations and state grants in recent years. The biggest benefactor has been Peco Energy Co., which has donated $17 million. An additional $13 million came from a joint committee of two quasi-government agencies. State grants make up the remaining $6 million. Here is a breakdown: Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods Programs: It runs a parking lot in South Philadelphia.
NEWS
December 19, 2004 | By Craig R. McCoy and Mario F. Cattabiani INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The charity that is backed by State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo and is under federal investigation has missed the IRS deadline for reporting its 2003 finances. The South Philadelphia charity, known as Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, was supposed to report those finances last month and did not. The forms had been due in May, but the group was granted an extension to Nov. 15. Missing the deadline can result in fines of $100 a day. Ken Snyder, a spokesman for Citizens Alliance, said last week that the multimillion-dollar charity would file the public reports "as soon as possible.
NEWS
June 3, 2010 | By Craig R. McCoy and Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writers
Once, it was banking millions of dollars and was a key redoubt in the power base of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo - and a supporter of his luxuriant lifestyle. Today, it has only about $80,000 in the bank, its board of Fumo cronies has been cast out, and the former senator is nine months into a 55-month federal prison term. But the nonprofit Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, which Fumo founded, can still do good for a commercial swath of South Philadelphia, its interim overseer recommended Wednesday.
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NEWS
July 31, 2015
DID U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah out-Fumo Fumo? There are many differences between the 139-count indictment of State Sen. Vincent Fumo, in 2007, and yesterday's 29-count indictment of the Congressman and four others - with charges including racketeering conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. For one thing, Fumo was convicted and jailed, and we don't yet know Fattah's fate. But there are many echoes between the two: Abuse of nonprofit charitable organizations : Fumo used Citizens Alliance, his nonprofit, as a personal ATM, using funds to enrich himself with, among other things, an extensive inventory of vacuum cleaners and power tools.
NEWS
March 23, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
CONVICTED FORMER state Sen. Vince Fumo is seeking an early end to his three-year term of supervised release under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Probation Office. In a motion filed yesterday, Fumo's lawyer, Dennis Cogan, asked U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter to terminate Fumo's three-year supervised release after more than 13 months. "His punishments have been considerable and he has suffered much," Cogan wrote. "He is now almost 72 years of age. His health is not good and his financial losses have been considerable.
NEWS
November 15, 2014 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
A LONGTIME close ally of disgraced ex-state Sen. Vince Fumo cut a deal with prosecutors and won't be going to prison for his role in a political-corruption scandal at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Mitchell Rubin, the Philadelphia political insider who once chaired the turnpike panel, will get two years' probation after pleading guilty yesterday in Harrisburg to a misdemeanor charge. Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Lewis also ordered Rubin - the husband of Fumo's onetime close aide Ruth Arnao - to pay a $2,500 fine and perform 100 hours of community service, after he pleaded guilty to one count of commercial bribery.
NEWS
June 16, 2014
The pet political charity is such a hoary Philadelphia tradition that perhaps it was time for an innovation. And so we have the pet political charity that isn't. The innovation in question is Peace Not Guns, long advertised as a nonprofit antiviolence group - and in some cases as a 501(c)3, or tax-exempt charitable organization - founded by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson after the untimely death of a cousin in 1998. As the website AxisPhilly recently revealed, Peace Not Guns was never registered as a charity with the IRS. Johnson now acknowledges that Peace Not Guns is "not a federally tax-exempt nonprofit.
NEWS
May 22, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
YOU PROBABLY thought former state Sen. Vince Fumo's federal corruption case was all over. He served his prison sentence. He spent the last part of it, almost six months, under home confinement in his Spring Garden mansion on Green Street near 22nd. But wait. The government had appealed U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter's ruling on how much Fumo owed in restitution to a South Philly nonprofit, the former Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods. So yesterday, a whitish-gray-haired Fumo, 71, dressed in a dark suit, was back before Buckwalter for a restitution hearing.
NEWS
February 6, 2013 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Convicted former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo must pay much more in restitution to one of his victims, a federal appeals panel ruled Monday. In another rebuke to U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter, the panel said Buckwalter had imposed too light a burden on Fumo in resentencing him in 2011. The appeals court returned the case to Buckwalter to decide precisely how much Fumo should pay, but it strongly suggested he pay as much as an additional $800,000. Two years ago, Buckwalter ordered Fumo and a former aide convicted with him, Ruth Arnao, to split 50/50 about $1.6 million in restitution due a South Philadelphia civic-improvement organization.
NEWS
December 16, 2012 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Imprisoned former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo may well have to pay an additional $800,000 in restitution, judging from the tenor of questioning Friday by appellate judges considering a government appeal of Fumo's financial penalty. The U.S. prosecutors who won his fraud conviction have challenged part of his punishment, in which the sentencing judge ordered a former Fumo aide to pay half the restitution to one of the victims in the fraud. U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter ordered Fumo and the convicted ex-aide, Ruth Arnao, to split evenly the payment of almost $1.6 million owed to a South Philadelphia civic organization once known as Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods.
NEWS
December 15, 2012 | By Craig R. McCoy, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Imprisoned former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo may well have to pay another $800,000 in restitution, judging from the tenor of questioning Friday by appellate judges considering a government appeal of Fumo's financial penalty. The U.S. prosecutors who won his conviction have challenged part of his punishment, in which the sentencing judge ordered a former Fumo aide to pay half the restitution to one of the victims in the fraud. U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter ordered Fumo and the convicted ex-aide, Ruth Arnao, to split 50/50 payment of almost $1.6 million owed a South Philadelphia civic organization, once known as Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods.
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