Indictment cites multiple judges for preferential treatment in scam

Strong legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney can often make a material difference in the outcome of any case in which a client faces state or federal criminal charges.

Proven defense attorneys can lend expertise in pre-trial proceedings, in helping to fashion plea bargains that best promote a client’s legal interests, in arguing persuasively for sentencing mitigation and alternatives to incarceration, in crafting successful arguments on appeal, and in having some cases dismissed entirely.

One constant that is required for them to do their job with maximum effectiveness and efficiency is a fair playing field, coupled with an untainted decision-making process.

In a perfect world, of course, that set of conditions will always be present. As demonstrated by a breaking story out of Pennsylvania, fairness and principled outcomes are sometimes undermined by graft and other unethical conduct.

A federal indictment released last week charges a number of current and former judges in Philadelphia with criminal counts related to their participation in a ticket-fixing scheme in that city’s Traffic Court. The alleged “preferential treatment to certain ticketholders” is stated to have occurred over many years and with the participating judges favoring some defendants over others because of past political support or the “opportunity to obtain some sort of personal benefit.”

The indictment references the fraud committed against state residents and the state and municipal government, which resulted in funds owed Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania never being received.

Although no precise amount of money is mentioned relating to the fraud, it is likely to be significantly high. One of the indicted judges served on the court for well over a decade.

Source:, “Six Philly judges among those indicted in Philadelphia Traffic Court ticket ‘fixing’ scandal [Updated],” Brian Hickey, Jan. 31, 2013