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Corruption Trial for Pennsylvania State Senator Begins This Week

Posted On: September 11, 2008 by Marc Neff

Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo, a member of the Pennsylvania Senate since 1978, will stand trial starting this week on corruption charges. Fumo was indicted nearly a year and a half ago on 139-counts of corruption and related offenses, including but not limited to conspiring to defraud the Senate, conspiring to defraud a South Philadelphia non-profit organization, conspiring to defraud Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum, obstruction of justice, and tax violations. The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges that the fraudulent activities for which Fumo is accused totaled $3.5 million.

Fumo’s trial will begin by the selection of the jury; a pool of two hundred potential jurors has been summoned from Pennsylvania’s Eastern District, which includes Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks. Narrowing the pool down to the final twelve jurors may very likely take an entire week. Once the jury has been selected, the actual trial will begin with the prosecution presenting its case. According to the 267-page indictment, the prosecution will attempt to prove that Fumo would use tax dollars for projects and items related to personal gain, as well as using Senate employees for the same. He is even accused of using Senate money to hire a private investigator to spy on his ex-wife and girlfriends. Fumo allegedly destroyed evidence in an FBI and IRS investigation relating to his operations at the Independence Seaport Museum as well.

In Fumo’s defense, a list of potential witnesses has been produced, which includes important city and state officials such as Governor Rendell, former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode, two former State Supreme Court Justices, current Philadelphia judges, and Representatives Robert Brady and Chaka Fattah. If convicted, the U.S. Attorney is expected to seek a prison sentence of at least 10-years. For Fumo, who is 65-years of age, a conviction could potentially mean a life-sentence.

The Law Offices of Marc Neff have over 20-years of experience successfully defending clients charged with fraud and related offenses. If you are under investigation, or have been charged with a criminal offense, contact our offices immediately. There are defenses available to you, and the Law Offices of Marc Neff can assist in developing a successful defense.

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Posted in: Federal White Collar Crime