two philadelphia traffic court judges plead guilty In ticket-fixing scheme
PHILADELPHIA - H. Warren Hogeland, 75, of Richboro, PA, and Kenneth Miller, 76, of Brookhaven, PA, pleaded guilty today to taking part in a fraud scheme involving seven other judges at Philadelphia Traffic Court. Hogeland was a Bucks County Senior Magisterial District Judge; Miller was a Delaware County Senior District Judge. Both accepted assignments with Traffic Court when their services were requested. The two defendants admitted to participating in the practice of giving breaks on traffic citations to friends, family, the politically-connected, and business associates. Specifically, Hogeland presided over a ticket issued to Miller’s son and declared Miller’s son “not guilty” without him having to make an appearance. Additionally, Miller arranged for a ticket, received by “J.B.,” to be declared “not guilty.” Both defendants pleaded guilty to mail fraud; Hogeland also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
As part of the scheme, tickets were “fixed” by either being dismissed, finding the ticket holder “not guilty,” or finding the ticket holder guilty of a lesser offense. In many cases, the ticket holder did not even appear in Traffic Court, yet their ticket was “fixed.” As a result, the ticketholders paid lesser or no fines and costs, and evaded the assessment of “points” on their driver’s record. This widespread “ticket-fixing” defrauded both the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia of funds, and allowed potentially unsafe drivers to remain on the roads.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Kelly scheduled sentencing hearings for both Hogeland and Miller on May 24, 2013. Each defendant faces a possible advisory sentencing guideline range of zero to six months in prison, before variances or departures.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Denise S. Wolf and Anthony J. Wzorek.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525