Former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. has joined his co-defendant, former Judge Michael T. Conahan, in awaiting sentencing after a federal judge denied his post-trial motions late last month.
But white-collar defense attorneys and former federal judges not involved in the case said Conahan and Ciavarella could end up receiving very different sentences.
In February, a federal jury in Scranton found Ciavarella guilty of 12 of 39 counts of corruption filed against him, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, honest services mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy and a host of tax fraud charges. Ciavarella was cleared of extortion, bribery and honest services wire fraud charges, however.
Conahan pleaded guilty to one racketeering charge in April 2010.
Stephen S. Stallings, chair of Pittsburgh-based Burns White's white-collar criminal defense group, said the sentencing guidelines for Ciavarella are likely to be significantly higher than those for Conahan, and not just because he was found guilty of more crimes than Conahan pleaded to.
Stallings said the nature of Ciavarella's crimes, including that he was a public official, would initially set the bar high, while a number of potential enhancements under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines could then raise the sentencing levels further
Full Article and Source:
Ciavarella and Conahan May Face Very Different Sentences