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Tag: Vincent Fumo

Philly Prosecutors Files Papers to Try and Get Big-Time Politician Vincent Fumo More Prison Time

If ever there was a sentence that irked the Philly feds in recent times, this is it. Prosecutors and agents alike were appalled by what they considered a lenient sentence. They want this big-time politician who was well known as a shakedown artist, to serve more time.

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

By Emilie Lounsberry
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors took a first step yesterday toward appealing the 55-month prison sentence given to former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, who is scheduled to report to prison this month.

In a one-sentence court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Zauzmer and John J. Pease submitted a “notice of appeal” of the sentence imposed last month by U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter.

The prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of more than 15 years.

They already have called the prison term “unduly lenient” and said the sentence, which triggered widespread public criticism, had done “grave damage to the public’s respect for the law and expectation of justice.”

For Full Story

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Ex-U.S. Atty. Pat Meehan Speaks Out Against ex-State Sen. Fumo’s Sentence: “A Shame Judge Didn’t Share Jurors’ Disgust”

Pat Meehan is thinking of running for governor. And this is as good as any issue to show how tough he is on crime.  He leaves no doubt that he is sincerely disgusted with what he sees as a lenient sentence.

EX-U.S. Atty. Pat Meehan/facebook photo

EX-U.S. Atty. Pat Meehan/facebook photo

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed papers on Friday indicating that it planned to appeal the sentence. For more see posting below.

By Pat Meehan
Ex-U.S. Attorney For Eastern District of Pa.
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvanians listened for cannon fire. The intended target was the state legislature in Harrisburg, where all 253 members of the General Assembly waited with hands cupped over their ears. They heard nothing.

That’s because when U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter sentenced former State Sen. Vince Fumo to only 55 months’ imprisonment, the discharge was too weak to travel much farther than the courthouse steps.

Fumo, once Pennsylvania’s most powerful Democrat, had been convicted of all 137 criminal counts he faced. He had defrauded the state Senate and two nonprofit organizations, and he treated the commonwealth like his fiefdom. And for this, he received four years and seven months.

After the verdict in March, jurors expressed outrage at Fumo’s disregard for spending, as he called it, “OPM,” or “Other People’s Money.” They couldn’t believe that a public servant would think nothing of using state funds to pay staffers to work on his farm or to hire a private investigator to track his ex-girlfriend. It’s a shame the judge didn’t share the jurors’ disgust.

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U.S. Attorney’s Office Plans to Appeal Pa. ex-Sen. Vince Fumo’s Lenient Sentence

Outrage has been pouring in since ex-Sen. Vince Fumo, a first-rate shakedown artist was sentenced to 55-months in prison, a sentence that fell short of what he could have gotten under a plea agreement. The government filed papers Friday indicating it plans to appeal the sentencing. This should be interesting.

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo/whtm.com photo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo/whtm.com photo

By Brad Bumsted
Pittsburg Tribune Review
HARRISBURG, Pa. – At about $14 apiece, the 91 lobster tails Anthony Jones stole from the kitchen of Bally’s Atlantic City cost the casino $1,275. The theft cost Jones four years in prison.

When U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter imposed a prison sentence of four years and seven months on former Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Fumo on Tuesday, it drew immediate comparisons to the time behind bars an Atlantic City Superior Court judge gave Jones, 38, just four days earlier.

For a pervasive corruption scheme that prosecutors claim involved more than $4 million in fraud, Buckwalter gave Fumo, 66, a sharply reduced sentence from the 10 to 15 years prosecutors sought, citing his good works as a Democratic senator from Philadelphia. The judge deviated from federal sentencing guidelines and a probation report that recommended 21 to 27 years.

When Philadelphia news outlets reported Jones’ sentence last week, a poster identified only as “Louie45” wrote on a Daily News blog: “this guy should be a state senator in pa. He would have gotten off free and they would have given him the lobsters. This poor guy got 7 months less than the thief FUMO.”

“Scorpio27” wrote: “never steal anything small.”

For Full Story

Philly Fed Prosecutors in Sen. Fumo Case Worked Like Dogs For 137 Count Conviction

Every big case takes extraordinary time and effort. But in Philly, the federal prosecutors who convicted ex-Sen. Vince Fumo may have been more intense than most. It obviously paid off with the a conviction on all 137 counts.

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo
Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

By Robert Moran
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA –– They were the Brains and the Bulldog, and they were unyielding.

Every day court was in session during Vincent J. Fumo’s nearly five-month corruption trial, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Zauzmer and John J. Pease were never spotted at any of the nearby lunch spots.

They spent their breaks in a windowless room at the federal courthouse, prepping witnesses and plotting strategy, FBI Agent Vicki Humphreys recalled.

“John and Bob’s work ethic is incredible,” she said.

“It was not unusual to get an e-mail from John before 7 a.m. and one from Bob at 2 or 3 in the morning,” former FBI Agent Kathleen T. McAfee said. Both agents led the Fumo investigation.

Zauzmer and Pease had to be uncompromising to take down Fumo, the former state senator from Philadelphia with a reputation as a relentless politician.

Zauzmer was the strategist. “He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” Pease said.

“You know you can’t outwork him,” Zauzmer said of Pease.

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How the Feds Built a Case Against a Powerful Pensylvania State Senator

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

The FBI and U.S. Attorneys Office started piecing together a case against powerful ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo receipt by receipt. There were skeptics who thought they couldn’t make a case. The group of lawyers and investigators proved them wrong. Here’s how.

By Emilie Lounsberry and Craig R. McCoy
Inquirer Staff Writers
PHILADELPHIA — It was early in the investigation, but already the FBI was getting on Vince Fumo’s nerves.

In a typically blunt e-mail, he wrote to a top aide in 2004 that a delicate part of his anatomy had just been “busted by my 2 friendly female FBI agents.”

Then he cursed them.

His aide replied: “I do not like those people. Long live the realm of Fumo-world! :-)”

Now former State Sen. Fumo stands convicted of scores of counts of corruption in a $4 million fraud, his aide has lost his job, and Fumo-world is a smoking ruin.

Relentlessly civil, but also downright relentless, FBI Agents Vicki Humphreys and Kathleen T. McAfee scrutinized Home Depot receipts and analyzed American Express card bills, tallied up toll slips and tracked down yacht captains, all to build a case that everyone told them they could never construct.

They were joined by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John J. Pease and Robert A. Zauzmer

For Full Story

Related Story

Philly FBI Agent Shows a little Courtroom Theatrics in Corruption Probe

philly-mapThere was little doubt that there wasn’t more corruption beyond the probe into crooked ex-state Sen. Vincent Fumo. And an FBI agent proved that point with a little courtroom theatrics. It will be interesting to see how deep this goes and whether Fumo, just convicted, will cooperate and point fingers.

By Craig R. McCoy and Emilie Lounsberry
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — With brutal directness, the FBI revealed yesterday that its long-running investigation into “Fumo World” isn’t over.

After a post-conviction hearing in U.S. District Court for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, an FBI agent stood up, crossed the courtroom toward Fumo friend Mitchell Rubin, and handed him a “target letter” warning him that he could face criminal charges.

Rubin, chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, was sitting in the audience in support of his wife, Ruth Arnao, the former Fumo aide convicted Monday, alongside Fumo, on corruption charges.

After FBI Special Agent Vicki Humphreys handed Rubin an envelope with the letter, Rubin read it, and then slumped in his front-row bench. He was the picture of shock and despair.

The federal jury that convicted Fumo found as part of its sweeping 137-count tally of guilty verdicts that he had defrauded the Senate by handing Rubin a “no-work” contract.
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Ex-Penn. State Senator Vincent Fumo Found Guilty on 137 Counts; Judge Brushes Off Facebook Controversy

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo/whtm.com photo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo/whtm.com photo

After a long drawn out court battle, the ex-state Sen. Vincent Fumo
got hit big– a conviction on all 137 counts. His attorneys tried this morning to derail the deliberations after discovering that one juror had posted a note on Facebook saying “Stay Tuned” for Monday. But after questioning the juror, the judge denied the defense motion. Expect that issue to come up on appeal.

By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Emilie Lounsberry and Robert Moran
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Former State Sen. Vincent Fumo was convicted of all 137 counts against him today as his marathon federal corruption trial ended in a stunning victory for prosecutors.

The jury also found co-defendant Ruth Arnao guilty of all 45 counts against her.

After a 30-minute hearing this afternoon, U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter agreed to let Fumo and Arnao remain free pending sentencing although he ordered them to post bail of $2 million and $500,000, respectively, by Wednesday.

The two had been free on unsecured own-recognizance bail since they were charged.

Fumo’s bail will be secured by properties he owns in Philadelphia and central Pennsylvania, the Jersey Shore and Florida; Arnao’s will be secured by her home in Philadelphia.

For Full Story