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Ex-owner of youth lockups gets jail sentence

Ex-owner of youth lockups gets jail sentence

The former owner of two juvenile detention facilities was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for his role in a kickback scheme that led the state Supreme Court to vacate the convictions of thousands of juveniles who appeared before now-jailed judges.
Lawyer and businessman Robert Powell's cooperation with investigators, including his willingness to wear a wire that captured conversations with judges, led U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik to give him a lighter sentence than he would have otherwise received.
Powell pleaded guilty in 2009 to concealing a felony and an accessory charge in the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.
Powell testified earlier this year that he was forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to former Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan in return for their support of his two private juvenile detention facilities.
Ciavarella is a former juvenile court judge who sent children to the facilities while he was taking payments. He was convicted of racketeering while Conahan pleaded guilty. Both are serving long prison terms.
Powell claimed the judges extorted more than $725,000 from him after they shut down the county-run detention center and instead sent juveniles to his new lockup outside the city of Wilkes-Barre.


Updated : 2021-10-20 22:16 GMT+08:00