Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Fumo To Face More Jail Time for Criminal Convictions

Filed under: Criminal Law, News Tags: by Steven F. Fairlie @ August 25, 2011

Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Fumo was convicted in July of last year of 137 counts of Fraud, Tax Evasion and Obstruction of Justice. Among other things, the evidence showed that he used public employees and services for his private gain and ran the nonprofit Citizen’s Alliance for Better Neighborhoods for personal gain. The trial judge was widely criticized for imposing a sentence well below federal sentencing guidelines: 55 months in jail, $411,000 in fines, and $2,340,839 in restitution. Both parties appealed – Fumo appealed allegations of errors made at trial in a bid for a new trial, and the prosecution appealed alleged sentencing errors. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which includes all of Pennsylvania, ruled that there were no trial errors requiring retrial but that the sentencing procedure had been flawed. Essentialy, the former Pennsylvania Senator lost his appeal and the Government won its appeal. The bottom line is that a new sentencing hearing will be held in which the Fumo will face a higher set of sentencing guidelines. The Sentencing Judge could still hand down the same sentence, but such a sentence would be very hard to justify given the criticism that was leveled against the first sentencing decision and the Third Circuit’s finding that errors at the proceeding should be fixed in favor of the Government.

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