Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | July 15, 2009

Can You Say “Slap on the Wrist”?

No matter how much we may want them to, some things never change.

Conspiracy to defraud either Medicare or Medicaid carries a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Oh dear.

Anyone care to guess what the ultimate penalty was for being convicted of 137 counts of fraud, tax evasion and obstruction of justice, including defrauding total of $2.4 million from two non-profit organizations and the Pennsylvania State Senate, living high on the hog on OPM (“other people’s money”; that’s really what he called it), using taxpayer funds to refurbish a posh Philadelphia mansion plus houses at the Jersey shore and in Florida, while claiming that his only duties as a Pennsylvania legislator were to “show up and vote,” and that, “There’s a law against spitting on the sidewalk, but it’s never enforced,” when confronted with the relevant code of ethical conduct?

U.S. Probation Department guidelines call for imprisonment of 21 to 27 years, but the judge ruled that they really only call for 11 to 14 years.

The sentence was handed down yesterday: 55 months. Four years and seven months.

Let me get this straight: defrauding Medicare (only once) gets you 5 years. Defrauding the taxpayers of Pennsylvania of millions of dollars (somewhere between $2.4 and $4; exact numbers appear to be hard to come by) is only a scosh more than four and a half. This despite the fact that the other guy who defrauded one of the same non-profits of $2.6 million is serving 15 years, and a former Philadelphia city treasurer is serving 10 years for collecting “only” 10’s of thousands of dollars.

Pennsylvania. What a place. I guess some things really will never change.


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