Posts Tagged With Public Integrity

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Former Deputy Executive Director of Port Authority and Former Deputy Chief of Staff in New Jersey Governor’s Office Sentenced to Prison Terms

On March 29, 2017, William E. Baroni Jr., former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, were sentenced to 24 months’ and 18 months’ imprisonment, respectively, in connection with their roles in a scheme to misuse Port Authority resources to create traffic problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  Baroni and Kelly had previously been ... Continue Reading

Philadelphia District Attorney Charged with Bribery and Extortion

On March 21, 2017, Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams was charged in a 23-count indictment with bribery, extortion and honest services wire fraud in connection with receiving bribes from two business owners and with defrauding a nursing home and family friends of money intended for a family member’s nursing home care.  According to the indictment, from July 2010 to July 2015, Williams solicited and received tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes from ... Continue Reading

Former Executive Director of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation Pleads Guilty in Connection with Scheme to Defraud Investors in Municipal Bonds

On March 7, 2017, Aaron Troodler, the former Executive Director of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation (“RLDC”), pled guilty to conspiring with Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence to commit securities fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud investors in municipal bonds issued by the RLDC and the Town of Ramapo. According to the charging documents, Troodler and St. Lawrence lied to investors in the municipal bonds in order to cover up the Town ... Continue Reading

Former Chairman of Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Sentenced to One Year of Home Confinement in Connection with Bribery Scheme

On March 6, 2017, David Samson, the former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was sentenced to one year of home confinement for having used his official authority to pressure United Airlines Inc.’s parent company to institute a non-stop flight from Newark, New Jersey to South Carolina for his personal benefit.  Samson had also served as the New Jersey Attorney General from 2002 to 2003.  ... Continue Reading

Former Arkansas State Senator and Two Others Charged with Bribery and Fraud Scheme

On March 2, 2017, three individuals were charged with a fraud scheme involving bribes paid to two public officials in exchange for directing approximately $600,000 in government funds to two non-profit entities.  The individuals charged were Jonathan E. Woods, a former Arkansas state senator who served from 2013 to 2017, Oren Paris III, a college president, and Randell G. Shelton Jr., a consultant.  Each of the individuals was charged with nine counts of honest services ... Continue Reading

Former New York State Senator John Sampson Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Obstruction of Justice and Making False Statements to FBI Agents

On January 18, 2017, former New York State Senator John Sampson was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $75,000 fine after his conviction at trial for obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI.   Sampson had served in the New York State Senate from 1997 until he was convicted by a jury on July 24, 2015.  According to the evidence at trial, Sampson, an attorney, borrowed $188,500 from ... Continue Reading

Former Deputy Executive Director of Port Authority and Former Deputy Chief of Staff in N.J. Governor’s Office Guilty on All Counts

On November 4, 2016, William E. Baroni Jr., former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were each convicted on all charges by a jury in the District of New Jersey in connection with their roles in a scheme to misuse Port Authority resources to create traffic problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  Baroni and Kelly were each convicted of ... Continue Reading

Former California State Senator Ronald Calderon Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison for Receiving over $150,000 in Bribes

On October 21, 2016, former California State Senator Ronald S. Calderon was sentenced to 42 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of honest services mail fraud.  In his plea agreement, Calderon admitted that he accepted bribe payments from the owner of a Long Beach, California hospital to keep in place California legislation that the hospital owner exploited in a $500 million healthcare fraud scheme.  Calderon also admitted that he accepted bribes from ... Continue Reading

Texas Companies Agree to Pay $3.5 Million for Criminal Violations of the Clean Air Act

On October 12, 2016, KTX Limited, KTX Properties Inc., Crosby LP and Ramsey Properties LP pled guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Air Act at two oil and gas processing facilities in Texas.  The four companies agreed to pay a total of $3.5 million, including $3.3 million in criminal fines and a $200,000 community service payment to the Southern Environmental Enforcement Network.  The information charged KTX Limited and KTX Properties, Inc. with negligently releasing ... Continue Reading

Justice Department Moves to Dismiss McDonnell Charges

On September 8, 2016, DOJ moved to dismiss charges against former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell.  The Supreme Court unanimously vacated Governor McDonnell’s conviction in June, concluding that the favors McDonnell performed for one of his donors—including setting up meetings, calling other public officials, and hosting an event—did not qualify as “official acts” for purposes of the bribery statute. DOJ Press Release

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Former Virgin Island Senator Extradited and Charged with Embezzlement

On August 24, Wayne Anthony Gunnar James, a former U.S. Virgin Island Senator who served as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Youth, Education and Culture from 2009 to 2011, was extradited from Italy on charges of defrauding the government of the Virgin Islands.  As Chair of the Senate Committee on Youth, Education and Culture, James allegedly submitted false documents to the legislature in order to receive cash advances, which he then embezzled for ... Continue Reading

Businessman Convicted of Offering Millions of Dollars to Department of Defense Procurement Official

On August 19, Razak Dosunmu, a Washington-based businessman, was convicted by a jury of offering illegal gratuities to a Department of Defense procurement official while negotiating aviation fuel contracts worth over $1 billion.  According to the evidence at trial, Dosunmu initially offered to purchase the official a house; in subsequent conversations, Dosunmu offered the official $2 million.  United States v. Dosunmu, 16-cr-54 (E.D. Va.). DOJ Press Release  ... Continue Reading

Former Head of Foundation Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Bribing Then-Ambassador and President of United Nations General Assembly

On July 29, Shiwei Yan was sentenced to 20 months in prison for paying bribes to John W. Ashe, the late former Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and 68th President of the U.N. General Assembly.  Yan was the co-founder of the Global Sustainability foundation and, along with co-defendant Heidi Hong Piao, paid the bribes to Ashe in exchange for official actions by Ashe that benefited several Chinese businessmen.  Piao also ... Continue Reading

Former New Jersey Attorney General and Chairman of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners Pleads Guilty to Bribery

On July 14, David Samson, the former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pled guilty to using his official authority to pressure United Airlines to institute a non-stop flight from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina, for his personal benefit.  Samson, who lived in South Carolina and who served as New Jersey’s Attorney General from 2002 to 2003, sought to have the airline re-introduce the route ... Continue Reading

Congresswoman Brown and Chief of Staff Charged with Fraud Scheme

On July 8, Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, Brown’s chief of staff, were charged in a 24-count indictment for their roles in a conspiracy and fraud scheme.  The indictment alleges that between 2012 and 2016, Brown and Simmons solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations for One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund, a fraudulent educational charity.  The president of One Door pled guilty for her involvement in the scheme in ... Continue Reading

Volkswagen to Spend up to $14.7 Billion to Settle Allegations of Cheating Emissions Tests and Deceiving Customers on 2.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles

On June 28, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates announced DOJ and FTC settlements with Volkswagen AG in relation to VW’s use of illegal software to defeat emissions tests in violation of EPA regulations.  Of the $14.7 billion settlement, up to $10.03 billion is allocated to compensate nearly 500,000 consumers that leased or purchased model year 2009 to 2015 2.0-liter diesel vehicles.  In addition to its program that will allow drivers to return illegal-emissions vehicles ... Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Definition of “Official Act” in Domestic Bribery Statute, Overturns Governor McDonnell Conviction

On June 27, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in which it overturned the conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell for honest services fraud and Hobbs Act extortion charges related to the acceptance of $175,000 worth of gifts, loans, and other benefits from businessman Jonnie Williams.  At trial, the government was required to prove that McDonnell committed or agreed to commit an “official act,” as defined in the domestic bribery statute, in exchange ... Continue Reading

Philadelphia Congressman and Associates Convicted in Corruption Case

On June 21, a jury convicted Congressman Chaka Fattah, Sr. of participating in a racketeering conspiracy, as well as committing bribery, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and honest services fraud.  Evidence presented at trial showed that Fattah and his associates misappropriated both federal and campaign funds for personal gain.  Fattah took bribes in exchange for attempting to secure an ambassadorship, used campaign funds to pay his son’s student loan debt, and attempted to eliminate ... Continue Reading

Ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert Ordered to Surrender to Federal Prison by June 22

On May 19, Judge Thomas Durkin of the Northern District of Illinois ordered former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to begin his 15 month sentence in federal prison on June 22, 2016.  Hastert pleaded guilty last October to one count of structuring transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements.  Hastert admitted that he manipulated the transactions to hide a massive payment to an individual whom prosecutors accuse Hastert of sexually abusing.  Hastert, a wrestling ... Continue Reading

Third Circuit Halts Release of Bridgegate Co-Conspirator Names

On May 16, the Third Circuit stayed the district court’s order to release the names of unindicted co-conspirators in the George Washington Bridge “Bridgegate” scandal.  The Circuit will hold a panel hearing on the constitutional issues raised by this ruling.  Oral arguments on the case are scheduled to take place on June 6 in Philadelphia.  The cases are United States v. Wildstein, 2:15-cr-00209 (D.N.J.), United States v. Baroni et al., 2:15-cr-00193 (D.N.J.), and ... Continue Reading

Former New York State Senate Leader Dean Skelos Sentenced to Five Years in Prison and His Son, Adam Skelos, Sentenced to 6 ½ Years in Prison

On May 12, former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison for using his official position to solicit bribes.  His son, Adam Skelos, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for helping to arrange and receive the more than $300,000 in bribes paid to his father.  According to the evidence introduced at the Skelos’ trial, the former Majority Leader repeatedly used his position in the State Senate ... Continue Reading

Pennsylvania State Senator Asserts Innocence in Vote-Buying Indictment

On May 10, Pennsylvania State Senator Larry Farnese was charged with paying bribes in his 2011 election bid to become the Democratic leader of Philadelphia’s Eighth Ward.  The government alleges that Mr. Farnese, through his senate campaign committee, paid $6,000 to Bard College to fund the studies abroad of a Democratic Committee member’s daughter in exchange for a vote in the upcoming election.  On May 11, Mr. Farnese’s lawyer asserted Farnese’s innocence of the charge, ... Continue Reading

Ex-Ron Paul Staffers Found Guilty of Campaign Misconduct

On May 5, a federal jury in Iowa found three former Ron Paul staffers guilty of conspiring to hide thousands of dollars in secret payments to an Iowa state senator in exchange for his endorsement of then-Senator Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.  The jury heard evidence at trial that the three staffers, without Senator Paul’s knowledge, bribed then-Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson to endorse Paul by arranging for payments of $73,000 from campaign funds.  The staffers ... Continue Reading

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 12 Years in Prison

On May 3, former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison after a jury convicted him of corruption charges.  The evidence showed that Silver used his official position in the state legislature to obtain nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks, and obtained an additional $1 million by laundering the proceeds of his corruption.  The source of the charges and conviction was two corrupt relationships: first with the ... Continue Reading

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