White-Collar Crime

Once-Powerful Pa. Senator and Attorney Gets 61 Months in Federal Corruption Case Resentencing

Once a powerful Pennsylvania state senator who earned $100,000 a year as a lawmaker and another $1 million annually as a rainmaker for a Philadelphia law firm, Vincent Fumo was sentenced today for the second time in the same political corruption case.

His original 55-month federal prison sentenced was nixed by a federal appeals court as a too-lenient abuse of discretion. So today U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter tried again, giving Fumo, 68, a 61-month prison term, reports the Associated Press.

The prosecution had sought 17 years. The defense argued for the original 55-month term, citing Fumo’s age and health problems.

During the sentencing hearing today, Fumo said he was just one of many lawmakers who used taxpayer-paid government staff to perform personal and political work.

“I don’t mean to minimize what I did by saying others did it, but, your honor, it was institutionalized,” he said.

The judge indicated that he thought the government had overcharged Fumo in the 137-count obstruction, fraud and tax case. He was convicted by a jury on every count.

Fumo’s license to practice law was temporarily suspended in 2010 due to his criminal conviction, according to Pennsylvania Supreme Court records.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Testimony: Former Pa. Senator Funneled Work to Law Firms”

ABAJournal.com: “3rd Circuit Nixes 55-Month Term for Former Pa. Lawmaker Fumo, Tells Sentencing Judge to Try Again”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “Fumo e-mails from prison ‘unrepentant’ and ‘hostile’ “

Philadelphia Inquirer: “Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo’s resentencing shines spotlight on judge”

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