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FORMER COOPERATING WITNESS IN PUBLIC CORRUPTION CASE CHARGED WITH THEFT AND FALSE STATEMENTS

November 19, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A Stoughton man was charged today in federal court with theft of public money and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the course of an undercover operation.

JAMES PALHETE, 44, was charged in an Information with theft of public money and making false statements to the FBI.

The Information alleges that PALHETE lied to the FBI during the course of an undercover operation probing corruption and sold, without FBI approval, a $1,000 gift card to a third party which was supposed to be utilized during the undercover operation.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said, “Witness misconduct during the course of any operation is a serious matter which will not be ignored. Cooperating witnesses who lie to investigators or who misuse government funds will be prosecuted.”

If convicted on these charges, PALHETE faces up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the theft charge, and five years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the false statement charge.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly, Chief of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

The details contained in the Information are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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