ANY FOR-PROFIT, PRIVATE PENAL INSTITUTION CAN AND WILL GIVE JUDGES KICKBACKS FOR CONVICTING.
2 JUVENILE COURT JUDGES TAKE $$ KICKBACKS,
SEND KIDS TO 'PRIVATE' PENAL FARMS.
Court mandated punishment went to 10-yr olds,
CAUSED 1 YOUTH SUICIDE!
NO LONGER JUST IN THE PHILIPPINES!
FOR-PROFIT JAILS MAKE KICKBACK JUDGES !
THE HOTCASH TREND OF THE FUTURE!
PENN STATE JUDGE CONVICTED IN KICKBACK SCHEME
THIS IS STRAIGHT OUT OF A LAW & ORDER EPISODE FROM 5 YRS BACK BUT IT HAPPENED IN FEBRUARY 2011. A former juvenile court judge defiantly insisted he never accepted money for sending large numbers of children to detention centers even after he was convicted of racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of the for-profit lockups.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella was allowed to remain free pending sentencing following his conviction in what prosecutors said was a “kids for cash” scheme that ranks among the biggest courtroom frauds in U.S. history.
Ciavarella, 61, left the bench in disgrace two years ago after he and a second judge, Michael Conahan, were accused of using juvenile delinquents as pawns in a plot to get rich. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dismissed 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he sentenced young offenders without regard for their constitutional rights.
Ciavarella maintained the payments were legal and denied that he incarcerated youths for money.
“Never took a dime to send a kid anywhere. … Never happened. Never, ever happened. This case was about extortions and kickbacks, not about ‘kids for cash,’” said Ciavarella, who plans to appeal.
Federal prosecutors accused Ciavarella and Conahan of taking more than $2 million in bribes from the builder of the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care detention centers and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the facilities’ co-owner. (AS PRIVATE PENAL INSTITUTIONS GROW IN NUMBER, EXPECT THIS TREND TO MUSHROOM!
A federal jury in Scranton convicted Ciavarella of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy, but acquitted him of 27 counts, including extortion. He is likely to get a prison sentence of more than 12 years, according to prosecutors — who revealed after the verdicts that a reputed mob boss turned informant helped them make their case.
Parents of juveniles who appeared before Ciavarella were outraged that he was released after the verdicts. Ciavarella often ordered youths he had found delinquent to be immediately shackled, handcuffed and taken away without giving them a chance to say goodbye to their families. Some of the children he ordered locked up were as young as 10.
Sandy Fonzo, whose son was jailed by Ciavarella — and committed suicide last year at age 23 — screamed obscenities at the judge and even poked him as he and his attorneys held a news conference on the courthouse steps.
“My kid’s not here anymore!” yelled Ms. Fonzo. “He’s dead! Because of him! He ruined my … life! I’d like him to go to hell and rot there forever!” Ciavarella glanced at Fonzo, then turned his back.NOTE: there are two other aspects to this terrible case and they concern the mother who contacted the local police in the first place, which she did to give her son a warning and fright in order to change his ways. . a.) The mother should not have called the police to say that her son was involved in underage drinking in the first place. She'd have done better hauling him to AA meetings, apprising School teacher the kid favored. So she is partly to blame for his jailing & suicide. Parents never put your child in the hands of the legal system. Do not ever think to use judges, cops and prison guards as the lazy parent's best disciplinarian babysitter. b.) The police who responded to the mother's call for help - whihc was only to warn her son, ---should be prosecuted for acting against the public interest and lying to the mother, by instead arresting the youth and putting him through the court system. The implication is that they were involved in the illegal kickbacks with the judges.Fonzo’s son, Edward Kenzakowski, was a 17-year-old all-star wrestler with no prior record when he landed in Ciavarella’s courtroom for possession of drug paraphernalia. She said her son never recovered from the months he served at the detention centers and a wilderness camp.Tears streaming down her face, Fonzo said she couldn’t believe Ciavarella was allowed to walk out of the courthouse.
“There’s no justice, there’s not. He’s never going to get what he deserves,” she said. “I just wanted to see him handcuffed and taken out. But when I saw him just being released with that stupid smirk on his face …”
The jury found Ciavarella guilty of taking a $997,600 kickback from Robert Mericle, the builder of the juvenile facilities — money he was ordered to forfeit to the federal government after the verdicts were announced. He was also convicted of failing to report the payments on his state-mandated financial disclosure forms and failing to pay taxes on the income. Jurors acquitted him of extorting Robert Powell, the facilities’ developer and co-owner.
The defense declared victory. “We’re amazed. The jury rejected 95 percent of the government’s case,” said attorney Al Flora.
“I find it interesting,” U.S. Attorney Peter Smith said in response, “that a man just convicted of racketeering is claiming any sort of a victory out there today. I wonder what he would consider a defeat.”
Prosecutors alleged that Conahan, who pleaded guilty to racketeering last year, and Ciavarella plotted to shut down the dilapidated county-run juvenile detention center in 2002 and arrange for the construction of the PA Child Care facility outside Wilkes-Barre.
Ciavarella, who presided over juvenile court, sent youths to the center and later to its sister facility in western Pennsylvania while he was taking payments from Mericle, a prominent builder and close friend of Ciavarella, and Powell, a high-powered attorney.
Luzerne County paid Powell’s company more than $30 million between 2003 and 2007 to house juveniles at PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care. The county could have built its own juvenile center for about $9 million, according to testimony.
In dismissing thousands of Ciavarella’s convictions, the state high court said he ran his courtroom with “complete disregard for the constitutional rights of the juveniles,” including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.
Hundreds of youths and their families are suing Ciavarella and Conahan in federal court, but Smith said the judges’ handling of juvenile cases did not figure into the federal prosecution for legal and evidentiary reasons.
“We’re very sympathetic to the pain to the community that was caused here … and we’re fully aware of the deep anguish that many parents and many juveniles feel. But the federal criminal courts are not the appropriate venue to resolve that issue fully,” he said.
Ciavarella, who took the stand in his own defense, acknowledged to jurors that he failed to report the payments on his tax returns and hid them from the public, but he denied any plot to take kickbacks or extort money.
Ciavarella told jurors that he thought he was legally entitled to Mericle’s money, calling it a “finder’s fee” for introducing Mericle to Powell.
Ciavarella also denied that he extorted Powell, who had testified for the prosecution that he was forced to pay the judges nearly $600,000 after they agreed to send juvenile delinquents to his new lockup. The payments were disguised as rent on a Florida condominium owned by the judges’ wives.
It was Conahan who made the arrangements with Powell, Ciavarella insisted. He said Conahan told him that Powell had agreed to pay them $15,000 a month for 60 months to lease the waterfront Florida property. Prosecutors scoffed at that explanation, questioning why Powell would pay nearly $1 million in rent on a condo he could have purchased outright for less than $800,000.
Officials disclosed for the first time Friday that they were led to the judges by the reputed boss of a northeastern Pennsylvania Mafia family. William D’Elia — who regularly met for breakfast with Conahan — became a government informant after his 2006 arrest on charges of witness tampering and conspiracy to launder drug money. (Set a thief to catch a thief )
“D’Elia led us to Judge Conahan,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod. “From there we began to focus on them, the financial dealings between Judge Conahan, Judge Ciavarella, Mericle, Powell.”
D’Elia won a sentence reduction last year based on his cooperation in another criminal case and could be released as early as next year.
Ciavarella and Conahan initially pleaded guilty in February 2009 to honest services fraud and tax evasion in a deal that called for a sentence of more than seven years in prison. But their plea deals were rejected by Senior U.S. District Judge Edward M. Kosik, who ruled they had failed to accept responsibility for their actions.
A federal grand jury in Harrisburg subsequently indicted the judges on charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, bribery, extortion and tax offenses. Conahan pleaded guilty to a single racketeering charge last year and awaits sentencing. Mericle and Powell pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and testified against Ciavarella; both await sentencing.
Ciavarella faces a maximum of 157 years in prison at sentencing, but will more likely receive 12½ years to about 15½ years under federal sentencing guidelines, prosecutors said.
PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care remain open and continue to accept juveniles from many Pennsylvania counties, though Luzerne County no longer sends delinquents to them. "
NEW YORK STATE also is FIGHTING JUDGE -CORRUPTION ---
LATEST NEWS ON THIS BRIGAND, AUGUST 2011:
Pa. judge gets 28 years in 'kids for cash' case
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A longtime northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered
to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice
bribery scandal that prompted the state's high court to toss thousands of
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 28
years in federal prison for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of a pair of
juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as "kids for cash."
Ciaverella was motionless when the decision was announced and had no
reaction. From behind him, where family members of some of the children he
sentenced sat, someone cried out "Woo hoo!"
In the wake of the scandal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000
convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the
constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the
right to intelligently enter a plea.
Ciavarella, 61, was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year.
His attorneys had asked for a "reasonable" sentence in court papers, saying, in
effect, that he's already been punished enough.
"The media attention to this matter has exceeded coverage given to many and
almost all capital murders, and despite protestation, he will forever be unjustly
branded as the 'Kids for Cash' judge," their sentencing memo said.
Al Fora, Ciaverella's lawyer called the sentence harsher than expected. (!!!)
Ciaverella surrendered immediately but it was not immediately known where he
would serve his sentence.
Ciaverella, speaking before the sentence was handed down, apologized to the
community and to those juveniles that appeared before him in his court.
"I blame no one but myself for what happened," he said, and then denied he
had ever incarcerated any juveniles in exchange for money.
He also criticized U.S. Assistant Attorney Gordon Zubrod for referring to the case
as "kids for cash," and said it sank his reputation.
"He backdoored me, and I never saw it coming. Those three words made me the
personification of evil," Ciaverella said. "They made me toxic and caused a
public uproar the likes of which this community has never seen."
Federal prosecutors accused Ciavarella and a second judge, Michael Conahan, of
taking more than $2 million in bribes from the builder of the PA Child Care and
Western PA Child Care detention centers and extorting hundreds of thousands of
dollars from the facilities' co-owner.
Ciavarella, known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom demeanor, filled the
beds of the private lockups with children as young as 10, many of them
first-time offenders convicted of petty theft and other minor crimes.
The judge remained defiant after his arrest, insisting the payments were legal
and denying he incarcerated youths for money.
The jury returned a mixed verdict following a February trial, convicting him of 12
counts, including racketeering and conspiracy, and acquitting him of 27 counts,
including extortion. The guilty verdicts related to a payment of $997,600 from
the builder. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110811/D9P1V56O0.html
Poster's Note: New York City's TOUGHEST Cop admits in hearing to arresting people for 'quotas'. See:
GOOGLE NEW YORK POST & FABRICATED DRUG RAPS FOR QUOTAS
Poster's note. If builders of 'private, penal facilities' discover that judges will throw prisoners their way & sentence for money, "cash for convictions" won't this concept spread? NO CRIMINAL IDEA EVER OCURRED TO JUST ONE HEAD. THIS practice may already be ENDEMIC AND certainly WILL BE MORE SO AS MORE PRIVATE, FOR PROFIT PENAL INSTITUTIONS MUSHROOM ACROSS THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE. And that's the TREND now.
See how POOR pet lovers are JAILED, SENT TO "HARMONY FAMILY SCHOOLS" 1500$ for a ONE YEAR LONG court mandated Course. Read How a Corrupt Los Angeles D.A. colludes with ASPCA for half million buck FINES that took away a pet owner's HOME! Are there MORE like that judge and that DA??
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