July 19, 2012
Former Congressional Aide Suspended
The web page of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reports the interim suspwension of an attorney convicted of federal criminal charges.
The Broward Palm Beach New Times Blog describes the attorney as a former aide to Rep. Alcee Hastings:
In a brief statement from Hastings' office, the congressman says, "Today, I learned that Mikel Jones was found guilty of certain charges against him in the United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is no longer employed by my Congressional office."
According to the FBI, Jones was acquitted of several counts of mail and wire fraud involving thefts from the City of Philadelphia, and his wife was not charged in those allegations.
The FBI says Jones obtained a multimillion-dollar line of credit from a New York lender in February 2006 with the agreement that he'd use the money only for "legitimate expenses" related to operating his law firm.
Jones and his wife then began stealing the money under the name of another company they controlled, Strata-Tech, by making fake invoices with that name, as well as the name of Comcast-Spectator -- the company that owns the Philadelphia Flyers and used to own the Philadelphia 76ers -- which never provided any goods or services to the Joneses' law firm, the FBI says.
According to the feds, they'd use the money to pay off credit-card debt and buy 76ers tickets from Comcast-Spectator and also laundered around $160,000 of that fraudulently obtained money into the Florida bank accounts of Dona Nichols Jones and her daughter.
Between 2008 and 2009, feds say the Joneses obtained more than $350,000 through the fake-invoice scheme.
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