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By James Roxbury
Monday February 02, 2015 at 11:20 pm

As released by the Department of Justice.

Middle District of Pennsylvania.



The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a criminal Information was filed against Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert M. McCord charging him with two counts of attempted extortion in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1951(a). Each count is punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and fine of up to $250,000. In addition, a plea agreement was filed indicating that Mr. McCord will plead guilty to both charges when he appears in federal court for his arraignment. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, and the arraignment is scheduled to occur on February 17, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

According to the Information filed today, Mr. McCord attempted to extort campaign contributions from a law firm and a property management company while he was running for Governor by threatening economic harm to the potential donors if they failed to make sufficient campaign contributions. In particular, McCord threatened to use his position as State Treasurer to interfere with the business that the law firm and property management firm were conducting with the state if they did not make the contributions. Attached to the plea agreement is a joint statement of facts agreed to by the parties. The statement outlines the facts underlying the criminal charges in greater detail.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt was designated United States Attorney for this case because United States Attorney Peter J. Smith recused himself. Mr. Smith previously worked for Mr. McCord for a short period of time at the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. Mr. Pfannenschmidt stated that “public corruption cases are some of the most serious cases our office handles and this case indicates a serious breach of the public trust. Our office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners in holding public officials responsible for their violation of the public trust.”

“The citizens of the Commonwealth expect and deserve public officials who perform their duties free of deceit, favoritism, bias, self-enrichment, concealment and conflict of interest,” said Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. “Public corruption is an erosion of the public’s trust in our system of government, and the FBI stands committed to holding public officials accountable when they violate their oaths of office and betray that trust.”

"The abuse of power by elected officials tears at the fabric of society, undermines the rule of law and weakens public confidence in government," said Major Andrew Ashmar, Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation. "The Pennsylvania State Police is steadfast in our commitment to bring to justice those who use the power of their office for personal gain rather than serving the best interest of the public." “When our public officials fail to uphold the integrity of the office to which they were elected, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division is committed to working with our fellow law enforcement agencies to restore the public’s trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Akeia Conner.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorneys Michael A. Consiglio, William S. Houser, and Gordon A. D. Zubrod.

Criminal counts one and two.

A Philadelphia Law Firm, a Property Management Company and recorded phone calls..

"every time you are trying to get something done through state government you are going to have the State Treasurer looking to screw you".

The Plea Agreement.

Two felony counts, up to 20 years and a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for each count.

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