SCRANTON- The USA Lawyer’s Workplace for the Center District of Pennsylvania introduced that on February 17, 2023, United States District Court docket Choose Malachy E. Mannion sentenced James J. Peperno, Jr., age 58, of Outdated Forge, Pennsylvania, to 72 months of imprisonment. Peperno was convicted following a jury trial of 9 counts of conspiracy, federal program bribery, sincere companies wire fraud, Journey Act, false assertion, and perjury offenses.
Peperno was convicted of soliciting money funds and debt forgiveness from a neighborhood enterprise proprietor, to offer to Robert Semenza, Jr., the previous President of the Outdated Forge Borough Council. Peperno additionally was convicted of offering and promising money and future employment to Semenza, in change for Semenza performing and promising to carry out official acts, in relation to a state court docket civil litigation between Outdated Forge Borough and the native enterprise proprietor. Semenza advocated on behalf of the native enterprise proprietor with the Outdated Forge Borough Council, the Outdated Forge Borough Solicitor, and Outdated Forge zoning officers, together with by proposing a decision to the civil litigation that had been ready by Peperno. Peperno saved nearly all of the money funds paid by the native enterprise proprietor.
Peperno additionally was convicted of offering false statements and perjured testimony, in reference to an impressive restitution obligation owed from a previous federal conviction for mail fraud. Peperno claimed, in a written submitting and when testifying beneath oath, that he didn’t have any revenue or entry to any financial institution accounts, regardless of receiving roughly $6,000 from the native enterprise proprietor, within the weeks instantly previous his false statements and perjured testimony. Peperno, who owed roughly $390,000 on his excellent restitution obligation, had not made any funds in the direction of that debt in roughly one and one-half years.
In announcing the sentence, Choose Mannion labeled political corruption as “amongst one of many worst crimes one can commit,” describing the way it “undermines the general public’s belief within the folks they elect,” and deeming it one thing “horrible for democracy.” Peperno additionally was sentenced to serve three years of supervised launch following his time period of imprisonment.
Robert Semenza, Jr., pleaded responsible in June 2021 to federal program bribery, and was sentenced to a 12 months and a day in jail.
The case was investigated by the Scranton Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Public Corruption Job Pressure, which consists of members of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Lawyer Basic’s Workplace, and federal brokers from the FBI and Inner Income Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip J. Caraballo and Jeffrey St John prosecuted the case.
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