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.


Anonymous said...

Despicable conduct if true!

Anonymous said...

HE deserves to spend a long time behind bars thinking about this one.

Anonymous said...

How many misguided youths were turned into hardened criminals behind these private walls?

Video Guy said...

So if he was found not guilty of bribery and extortion does that mean he was found not guilty of sending these kids away for cash ?
Or does the money laundering and racketeering cover these charges?

I seen one of the mothers on one of the TV news shows right after this judge was convicted. She was interviewed because her son was sentenced to this detention center after committing some minor offence like underage drinking. When he finally was released she said he was not the same and ended up committing suicide. She was also very angry that the judge was not taken to prison after being sentenced, she said he and his attorney just left the courthouse and drove away….WTF?

I read about this case when it just broke and remember reading that a 6-month sentence at this kids prison could sometimes last a year or better. It appears that counselors at the detention center were in charge of the release of a prisoner in many cases, and if there were empty beds they would keep light sentenced inmates much longer, had to keep those tax dollars flowing in…privatization!

Until we hold such officials to the same standard as the rest of us when committing a crime this will happen again…I predict this judge will only do a fraction of the time he is sentenced to in a country club minim security prison, and that $900,000 forfeiture will be negotiated down to $90,000 after things cool down…they take care of their own.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here. Money is a root of evil!

Anonymous said...

V.G. I think the Judge was found guilty of not reporting the money he recieved. The allegation was that the juveniles were directed to a private facility instead of a state run facility in exchange for money. Probably a judge has wide discretion to do that. But if payments involved, it looks bad because it could be kick backs etc. If payments are not reported, it potentially violates lots of laws especially the IRC.

While he may have avoided some charges, the IRC penalties can be harsh, just ask Marth Stewart.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that! Expecting someone to use common sense!

Video Guy said...

What the big picture is this privatization of our already paid for public services. Why do we even have privet detention centers and prisons? The politicians always say they lose money with such projects, but sure enough a privet corporation takes over and they make millions off the same service. When a privet prison takes over it is in their best interest to have every bed/cell filled to capacity by any means necessary. After this disgrace to our judicial system proving corruption with such privatization I ask, how long will it be until every crime is punishable by time in a privet prison? Including speeding tickets!

We are becoming the Soviet Union of the 50’s !

If you remember your history correctly the Boston Tea Party was actually against a privet corporation named the “East India Trading Corporation” set on devaluating the price of American Tea.