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Developer in the Kids for Cash scandal sentenced to prison

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 25, 2014 12:38 PM
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(Scranton) --  A developer at the center of a major judicial scandal in Pennsylvania has been sentenced to one year in prison. 

Federal prosecutors say two judges in northeastern Pennsylvania took $2.1 million in illegal payments from developer Robert Mericle, builder of a pair of for-profit youth detention centers.

The former judges, Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan, are serving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the so-called "kids for cash"' scandal. 

In addition to the prison term, Mericle was fined $250,000 on Friday by a judge in Scranton and was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. 

He had pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out some 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by one of the Luzerne County judges who took the payments.

From earlier:

(Scranton) -- A developer at the center of one of the biggest judicial scandals in U.S. history is scheduled to be sentenced this morning in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Federal prosecutors say two Luzerne County judges took $2.1 million in illegal payments from Robert Mericle, builder of a pair of for-profit youth detention centers.

Former Judges Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan are serving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the so-called ``kids for cash'' scandal.

Mericle pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony. He faces eight to 14 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines but could receive less based on his testimony against Ciavarella. He'll be sentenced by a federal judge in Scranton.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out some 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he routinely trampled on juvenile offenders' civil rights.

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