Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Philadelphia Corruption Trial Begins

The corruption trial of former Philadelphia City Treasurer Corey Kemp, two Commerce Bank executives, and two other defendants began in U.S. District Court on Tuesday with opening statements by the government and three of the five defense counsel.  Kemp was one of 12 defendants indicted (here) on honest services fraud charges in June 2004 as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation by the FBI that included a bug placed in Mayor Street's office.  The allegations involve a claimed "pay-to-play" scheme in which, among other things, Commerce Bank made a mortgage loan to Kemp in exchange for receiving $150 million in city deposits.  Defense counsel assailed the government investigation in the opening statements, with Kemp's lawyer asserting that the government's case is a "situation where the elephant has given birth to the mouse. And it's a dead mouse at that." I'm not sure how the biology of that one works. The Philadelphia Inquirer has extensive coverage of the trial here. (ph)

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Corruption, Prosecutions | Permalink

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