Monday, February 21, 2011
Were Childhoods Ruined By Mark Ciavarella While He Played A Game of Monopoly?
When a judge falls over to the dark side of the law, the system is truly harmed. If the perception of fairness is tarnished by a few bad actors, the whole system can break down and loose its validity. Furhtermore, when it affects our youth, the future ramifications are further magnified. In an attempt to purge the system of such unacceptable behavior, a federal jury has found former Pennsylvania judge, Mark Ciavarella Jr. guilty in a so-called "kids-for-cash scheme." (Judge Ciavarella Jr. was on the bench for 14 years. During the latter years, he was accused of taking money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit detention centers. At trial the prosecution contended that Ciavarella threatened to send juveniles somewhere else if the owners of the private facilities did not pay him cash. Whereas, Ciavarella denied taking any money but did admit hiding money from the Internal Revenue Service.)
The jury in Scranton, Pennsylvania, found Ciavarella Jr., 60, guilty of racketeering, money-laundering conspiracy, fraud and filing false income tax returns. Furthermore, a special jury verdict found that $997,600 of Ciavarella's property is subject to forfeiture on two counts of racketeering. On the other hand, the jury found him not guilty of seven counts of extortion and 10 counts of bribery. For more details see: U.S. v. Ciavarella, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, No. 3:09-cr-272. The United States was represented by Gordon Zubrod, Ass William Houser and Michael Consiglio. The defendant was represented by Albert Flora and William Ruzzo.