‘Kids for Cash’ Judge Found Guilty

Crooked Judge still free following guilty verdict

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella was found guilty by a jury on charges of racketeering today.

Ciavarella left the bench some two years ago after charges that he used children as pawns for profit were lodged against him.

Federal prosecutors accused Ciavarella and a second judge, Michael Conahan, of accepting more than $2 million from builders of a for-profit detention center, to unjustly sentence children to the facility.

The case, dubbed ‘Kids for Cash’, is being called one of the biggest courtroom frauds in U.S. history.

A jury returned a mixed verdict today, acquitting Ciavarella of 27 counts, including extortion, but finding him guilty on 12 counts, including racketeering and conspiracy.

Prosecutors argued that Ciaveralla, who was described as ‘expressionless’ while the jury read the verdict, was a flight risk, but he was allowed to remain free until sentencing.

Prosecutors say Ciaveralla, who faces up to 157 years in prison, will likely receive a sentence of approximately 12 years.

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