December 5, 2014 |
IN A PASSIONATE plea to a federal judge, the defense lawyer for Thomasine Tynes said yesterday that the former president judge of Philadelphia Traffic Court did wrong, but should not have to go to prison. "We got lucky at trial," attorney Louis Busico surprisingly admitted in a courtroom packed with about 60 of Tynes' supporters. "The evidence was overwhelming that those guys were fixing tickets from Day 1. But mail fraud and wire fraud were the square pegs in the round holes. " Busico argued that Tynes' cooperation with a local bribery investigation, her myriad of health problems and her life's story from overcoming abuse to rising up as the first female, African-American president judge of Traffic Court should all be taken into account and that the "fabric of her soul" should be rewarded.
November 14, 2014 |
A FORMER day-care-center operator, who faces an involuntary-manslaughter trial in the 2012 death of a 7-year-old boy, was sentenced yesterday to five years, three months behind bars in a separate federal case for defrauding the state Department of Public Welfare of nearly $1.5 million. Tianna Edwards, 32, opened two Tianna's Terrific Tots day-care centers: in 2008 on Germantown Avenue near Juniata Street in Nicetown, and in 2009 on Rising Sun Avenue near 13th Street in North Philly.
November 8, 2014 |
For some, a question mark has hung over the split verdict a jury delivered four months ago in the federal ticket-fixing case against five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges. But in an opinion released Friday, the judge who presided over the case left no question as to what he believed prosecutors had proved in court. "The evidence at trial demonstrated very clearly that defendants were influenced by 'extrajudicial communications' when reaching their decisions on select tickets," U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel wrote.
October 14, 2014 |
AMY DUNNE is still missing and moviegoers are eager to find out what happened to her. "Gone Girl" stayed atop the box office for a second week with $26.8 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates yesterday. "Dracula Untold" bit into second place with $23.4 million. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," debuted in third with $19.1 million, so it was a not so terrible, horrible weekend. "Annabelle" claimed fourth place in its second week of release with $16.3 million, followed by the Robert Downey Jr. - Robert Duvall drama "The Judge," which debuted with $13.3 million.
September 26, 2014 |
STANDING BEFORE U.S. District Judge Juan Sanchez, former Municipal Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr., 61, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of mail fraud and one count of honest-services wire fraud. "Are you guilty of committing these crimes?" Sanchez asked. "Yes, your honor, I am," Waters responded. Yesterday's plea came on the heels of Waters' immediate voluntary resignation from the bench, which he submitted Tuesday. Waters had been under federal investigation for more than a year, and charges were brought yesterday in the form of a document called an information, as opposed to an indictment.
August 11, 2014 |
They sat in silent judgment for nearly two months as federal prosecutors laid bare one of the city's long-standing bastions of cronyism. But after acquitting five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges accused in a wide-ranging, ticket-fixing conspiracy three weeks ago, the jurors who decided their fate want to make one thing absolutely clear: "We hated to see those guys walk," said Mark Nagle, 57, an electronics technician known in court...
July 16, 2014 |
The founder of a chain of day-care centers in Philadelphia was indicted Monday in federal court on charges of stealing money intended to feed low-income children. Tracey Parson, 44, of Sicklerville, Camden County, also was charged with filing a bogus lawsuit against Philadelphia radio personality Tarsha "Jonesy" Jones that allowed Parson to receive a "substantial" settlement from the company that owns Power 99 and led to the reported firing of Jones. Parson founded Kiddie Kare Child Care & Education Center Inc. in 2008 and allegedly conspired with others to defraud the government for more than 21/2 years, from around December 2009 until June 2012, prosecutors said.
July 12, 2014 |
A North Philadelphia day-care operator awaiting trial for her role in the death of a 7-year-old in her care told a federal judge Thursday that she used her sister-in-law's identity to hide her extensive criminal past and obtain a state license. Tianna Edwards pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors said her business, Tianna's Terrific Tots, received more than $1.4 million in state subsidies from 2008 to 2011 - money she would not have received had the state known about her convictions for insurance fraud, shoplifting, and providing false identification to law enforcement.
June 25, 2014 |
ON THE AFTERNOON of Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, Gomer Thomas Williams, then an attorney at the Center City law firm Spector Gadon & Rosen, sat in his car near his Philadelphia home, with a shotgun in hand, ready to take his own life. "The guilt was simply too much for me," Williams told a federal judge yesterday. "I couldn't function. I couldn't continue what I was doing. " Williams, 54, stood before U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis, apologizing for stealing $503,361 from four of his trust and estate clients between 2007 and 2012.
February 11, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA One question will take center stage Monday when Masai Skief is sentenced for embezzling from the charter school he ran: Did he forfeit a chance at a lower sentence by continuing to steal money from the school - even after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud? Skief, 32, son of the late founder of the Harambee Institute of Science Technology Charter School, pleaded guilty in federal court in August to embezzling $88,000 from the charter and from the Harambee Institute, a related nonprofit.