FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
September 9, 2009 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
His brother said it was "irreconcilable to me" that the Joseph L. Borkson he knew could be the physician about to be sentenced for illegally selling hundreds of narcotics prescriptions worth $600,000 to addicts for cash or sex. His lawyer described Borkson's "emotional abyss" as he struggled to maintain a Center City practice while providing 24-hour-a-day personal care to Marilyn, his wife of 28 years, bedridden and dying of diabetes. And the federal judge called him a "Jekyll-Hyde personality" in which the face of a compassionate doctor loved by patients concealed a dark side she said Borkson even now does not acknowledge.
NEWS
October 9, 2010 | By MICHAEL HINKELMAN, hinkelm@phillynews.com 215-854-2656
He once enjoyed a high-flying lifestyle that included a bodyguard, a limo driver and other perks, but his past caught up with him yesterday. Neal D. Saferstein, 37, of Maple Shade, N.J., was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for running a telemarketing scam that authorities said bilked 350,000 small businesses of $75 million. U.S District Judge Cynthia Rufe ordered the ex-chief executive of the defunct Old City firm GoInternet.net taken into custody immediately to begin serving his sentence.
BUSINESS
December 18, 2013 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A lawsuit alleging that Lundy Law L.L.P., a worker-compensation firm based in Philadelphia, violated federal antitrust restrictions by locking up advertising on SEPTA buses and KYW drive-time radio has been dismissed by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe. Rufe said Lundy, whose advertisements can be seen on buses throughout the region, had not breached federal antitrust laws because competitor Larry Pitt & Associates likely had other advertising options. At the same time, Rufe permitted Pitt to move forward with a claim that Lundy falsely stated in its advertisements that it handled Social Security disability claims when in fact it referred those cases to other firms.
NEWS
March 18, 2000 | By Lacy McCrary, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bucks County Court Judge Cynthia Rufe said yesterday the publicity surrounding Donald A. Traub's murder case had not been excessive and did not warrant moving his trial to another county. Rufe reviewed videotapes of television coverage and a sheaf of newspaper reports before denying Traub's request for a change of venue. Traub faces trial in the apparently random shooting death of Karen Lee Hordis, 42, as she loaded groceries into her car outside a supermarket last Aug. 31. "We know people who don't read newspapers," Rufe said after a two-day hearing on pretrial motions filed by Traub's public defenders.
NEWS
December 13, 1991 | By John P. Martin, Special to The Inquirer
The fate of a controversial Falls Township plan to purchase a new municipal building now rests on a decision from Bucks County Judge William H. Rufe 3d. After hearing four days of testimony, Rufe yesterday was asked to issue an injunction against the township's agreement to pay $6.25 million to Transact Properties Corp. for the 52,000 square-foot building. The building is at Lincoln Crossing, a 12-acre parcel along Lincoln Highway and Olds Boulevard. Falls officials have "forced the people of the township to take on a white elephant that is ill-suited to their needs," lawyer Michael Sellers told Rufe in asking for an injunction.
NEWS
April 20, 1999 | By Lacy McCrary, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Warminster man, convicted in February of shaking his infant son to death in what prosecutors called an act of "hellacious" cruelty, was sentenced yesterday to up to 12 years in state prison by Bucks County Court Judge John J. Rufe. Charles Goldsmith Jr., 45, was given five to 10 years for involuntary manslaughter and six to 12 years for aggravated assault in the 1998 death of his 7-week-old son, Shaquille Goldsmith. The sentences are to be served concurrently. Before being sentenced, Goldsmith, a former high school basketball star, told Rufe that he did nothing to cause Shaquille's death and that he had nothing to apologize for. Shaquille's mother, Denise Law, who is engaged to marry Goldsmith, testified yesterday, as did Goldsmith's stepmother and sister, that he was incapable of harming his son and that he was a good father.
NEWS
November 16, 1999 | By Lacy McCrary, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A 22-year-old Bristol man was sent to jail for two to four years yesterday for punching his girlfriend, knocking her to the ground, and kicking her as she held the couple's 1-year-old daughter. Bucks County Court Judge Cynthia Rufe ordered the prison term for Walter Van Doren Jr. after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on Danielle Raab as they took a walk with their daughter, Kaitlyn, in Bristol on Aug. 10. Van Doren was on probation for an earlier assault on the couple's 2-year-old son. Rufe looked at pictures of Raab's injuries and called the latest assault a "major punch-out.
NEWS
July 13, 1999 | By Lacy McCrary, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia woman was sentenced to one to four years in prison yesterday after she admitted stealing more than $13,000 with counterfeit checks - including $6,300 in checks drawn on the bail-refund account maintained by the Bucks County Clerk of Courts. Lisa Direnzo, 30, might have gotten off easier, but she angered Common Pleas Court Judge Cynthia Rufe by claiming that she had cashed the checks for a friend, then refusing to identify the friend when questioned by the judge. As a consequence, Rufe said, she issued a stiffer sentence.
NEWS
November 10, 1998 | By Lacy McCrary, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Bucks County man who fled to California in 1991 to avoid being sent to prison for molesting a teenage boy got more time behind bars yesterday when his long-delayed sentencing was postponed. William Stubbs, 39, will be held in Bucks County prison until he receives a new sentencing date, probably early next year, prosecutors said. Bucks County Court Judge William Hart Rufe 3d revoked Stubbs' $50,000 bail during a brief court appearance yesterday, saying he did so to ensure that there would be "no risk of him disappearing again.
NEWS
January 6, 2011 | By MICHAEL HINKELMAN, hinkelm@phillynews.com 215-854-2656
A Bucks County chiropractor who bilked Independence Blue Cross and seven other health insurers of almost $2 million during a long scheme was sentenced to three years in a federal lockup yesterday and ordered to repay insurers more than $1.9 million. U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe gave Joseph J. Lerner, 50, of Chalfont, 45 days to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons. Authorities said Lerner, who owned Horsham 24-Hour Fitness and Wellness Center, hired masseuses and personal trainers to provide massages and training to gym members.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
YOU CAN say plenty of bad things about disgraced West Philly physician Kermit Gosnell, but at least the man has never been found guilty of cats. That bizarre turn of phrase was among numerous head-scratching moments that unfolded yesterday when Gosnell was handed a 30-year prison sentence in federal court on charges that he ran a "pill mill" out of his former practice, the Women's Medical Society. Gosnell, 72, is already serving three consecutive life sentences for murdering three babies in the clinic, where he regularly performed late-term abortions.
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA For 25 minutes Monday, Kermit Gosnell talked, insisting he was "well intentioned" and cared about the addicts who patronized his West Philadelphia "pain management clinic. " He said he was devising a computerized solution to prevent patients from illegally obtaining prescriptions when he was arrested. He said he wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and federal prison officials offering his "expertise" in "narcotic rehabilitation" and "medical sociology," and as a "transactional interrelationist" to help other inmates while serving his own sentence.
BUSINESS
December 18, 2013 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A lawsuit alleging that Lundy Law L.L.P., a worker-compensation firm based in Philadelphia, violated federal antitrust restrictions by locking up advertising on SEPTA buses and KYW drive-time radio has been dismissed by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe. Rufe said Lundy, whose advertisements can be seen on buses throughout the region, had not breached federal antitrust laws because competitor Larry Pitt & Associates likely had other advertising options. At the same time, Rufe permitted Pitt to move forward with a claim that Lundy falsely stated in its advertisements that it handled Social Security disability claims when in fact it referred those cases to other firms.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After twice balking at deals offered by federal prosecutors, West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell pleaded guilty Tuesday to trafficking in prescriptions for almost a million pills of dangerous narcotics. What he could not do was admit he committed a crime. For about 15 minutes, Gosnell verbally sparred with U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe as she tried to get him to admit he actually committed the crimes to which he was pleading guilty. "That's not what I asked you," Rufe said as the 72-year-old physician squirmed and struggled to avoid saying he did what prosecution and defense lawyers agreed he did. "This is not a nolo contendere plea," Rufe said, referring to a plea where the defendant simply does not contest the charges.
NEWS
June 27, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell continued working from his own playbook Wednesday, rejecting for a second time a federal prosecutor's plea agreement in a case charging him with selling prescriptions for dangerous narcotic drugs. Gosnell, 72, did not explain why he rejected a deal that would have put him in prison for 20 years, to be served concurrently with three consecutive life terms for killing infants born alive during illegal late-term abortions. U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe set trial for Sept.
NEWS
May 29, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
ABORTION DOCTOR Kermit Gosnell is expected to plead guilty next week to charges that he operated a pill mill out of his West Philadelphia clinic. Gosnell, 72 - who was sentenced this month to three life terms for murdering three born-alive babies during illegal late-term abortions - was due to stand trial in federal court for the narcotics-related charges after pleading not guilty last year. A change-of-plea notice was filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office yesterday. Gosnell is scheduled to formally enter the new plea June 6 in front of U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.
NEWS
January 6, 2011 | By MICHAEL HINKELMAN, hinkelm@phillynews.com 215-854-2656
A Bucks County chiropractor who bilked Independence Blue Cross and seven other health insurers of almost $2 million during a long scheme was sentenced to three years in a federal lockup yesterday and ordered to repay insurers more than $1.9 million. U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe gave Joseph J. Lerner, 50, of Chalfont, 45 days to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons. Authorities said Lerner, who owned Horsham 24-Hour Fitness and Wellness Center, hired masseuses and personal trainers to provide massages and training to gym members.
NEWS
October 9, 2010 | By MICHAEL HINKELMAN, hinkelm@phillynews.com 215-854-2656
He once enjoyed a high-flying lifestyle that included a bodyguard, a limo driver and other perks, but his past caught up with him yesterday. Neal D. Saferstein, 37, of Maple Shade, N.J., was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for running a telemarketing scam that authorities said bilked 350,000 small businesses of $75 million. U.S District Judge Cynthia Rufe ordered the ex-chief executive of the defunct Old City firm GoInternet.net taken into custody immediately to begin serving his sentence.
NEWS
July 22, 2010 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
David J. Murphy, the district justice in Aston accused of forging signatures on his renominating petition in 2009, pleaded guilty Wednesday and was immediately sentenced to four years of probation. Bucks County Senior Judge John J. Rufe, who heard the case by special arrangement with Delaware County Court, accepted Murphy's plea during a 30-minute hearing in Media. Murphy waived a presentencing investigation. "I'm satisfied that you are a good person who has made some bad choices," Rufe said.
NEWS
September 9, 2009 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
His brother said it was "irreconcilable to me" that the Joseph L. Borkson he knew could be the physician about to be sentenced for illegally selling hundreds of narcotics prescriptions worth $600,000 to addicts for cash or sex. His lawyer described Borkson's "emotional abyss" as he struggled to maintain a Center City practice while providing 24-hour-a-day personal care to Marilyn, his wife of 28 years, bedridden and dying of diabetes. And the federal judge called him a "Jekyll-Hyde personality" in which the face of a compassionate doctor loved by patients concealed a dark side she said Borkson even now does not acknowledge.
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