Additional Charges of Corrupt Receipt of Rewards for Official Action Filed Against Former Pennsylvania State Senator Raphael J. Musto
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 17, 2012|
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that two additional charges of corrupt receipt of rewards for official action have been filed against former State Senator Raphael J. Musto, Pennsylvania 14th Senatorial District, in an indictment presented today by a grand jury in Harrisburg.
Senator Musto, age 84, of Pittston, was originally charged in an indictment in November 2011. Those charges alleged that Senator Musto accepted $25,000 cash payment from a construction contractor who had developed various properties in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. Senator Musto accepted the $25,000 in cash, as well as other things of value from the contractor, as part of a stream of benefits designed to secure Senator Musto’s continued support of various construction projects, which were to the financial benefit of the company.
In addition, Senator Musto was alleged to have accepted thousands of dollars in cash from another individual affiliated with Northeast Pennsylvania municipal authorities. That cash payment was accepted by Senator Musto as a reward for prior official action taken by the senator where he assisted the municipal authorities obtain loans and grants. In addition, Senator Musto accepted these funds intending to be influence in his future official decisions.
The original indictment was superseded by a grand jury to include two new charges of corrupt receive of rewards for official action. In 2006, Senator Musto is alleged to have accepted $1,000 and other benefits from an individual affiliated with a municipality in return for his assistance with passing through a loan application for the municipality. Senator Musto is alleged to have done the same, for the same individual, in 2008, again in return for his assistance with the passage of a loan application for local municipalities.
This case is part of an on-going investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service and is being prosecuted by a team of federal prosecutors led by Senior Litigation Counsel Gordon Zubrod and includes Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Houser, Michael Consiglio, Amy Phillips John Gurganus, and Criminal Division Chief Christian Fisanick.
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An indictment and criminal information are not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proved the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.