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Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Pennsylvania State Senator And Pennsylvania Democratic Party Official Charged In Vote Buying Scheme
The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
A Pennsylvania State Senator and a Pennsylvania Democratic Party Official were charged in a federal indictment for their involvement in a bribery and fraud scheme related to the 2011 election for Democratic Ward Leader for Philadelphia’s Eighth Ward.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.
Lawrence “Larry” Farnese, 47, and Ellen Chapman, 62, both of Philadelphia, were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and violations of the Travel Act. According to the indictment, at the time of the alleged illegal conduct, Farnese was a Pennsylvania State Senator and a candidate for Democratic Ward Leader of the Eighth Ward and Chapman was a member of the Eighth Ward Democratic Committee.
The indictment alleges that from May to December 2011, Farnese and Chapman devised a bribe scheme in which Farnese paid $6,000 to a college study-abroad program for Chapman’s daughter in exchange for Chapman’s agreement to use her position with the Eighth Ward Democratic Committee to support Farnese in the upcoming ward leader election. According to the indictment, Chapman had originally intended to support a different candidate in the ward leader election. The indictment also alleges that Farnese made the $6,000 payment using campaign funds and disguised the true purpose of the payment by falsely listing it as a “donation” on the campaign’s finance report.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jonathan Kravis and Peter Halpern of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, street crime, sex crime, cyber crime, drug crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. He is an online columnist and contributing editor to The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International and a regular contributor to the Washington Times. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other print and online publications. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. He also served two years on the Navy harbor tugboat USS Saugus at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian employee and then became a freelance writer. You can read Paul Davis' Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces on this website. You can also read his full bio by clicking on the above photo.