SUPERSEDING CRIMINAL INFORMATION CHARGING FORMER LUZERNE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS JUDGE MICHAEL T. TOOLE WITH CORRUPT RECEIPT OF REWARD FOR OFFICIAL ACTION FILED
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today the filing of a superseding Information charging former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael T. Toole with the corrupt receipt of a reward for official actions.
Toole, age 49, of Wilkes Barre, previously entered a guilty plea to a charge of honest services fraud and subscribing to a materially false federal income tax return. The superceding Information was presented due to changes in the application of the Federal Honest Services statute resulting from a recent Supreme Court ruling.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the superseding Information charges Toole with corruptly receiving a reward for official action in violation of the federal statute concerning state and local government programs which are federally funded. Specifically, it is alleged that Toole accepted things of value from an attorney as a reward for official action taken by Toole. Toole is alleged to have improperly ruled in the attorney’s favor in a proceeding relating to an uninsured/underinsured motorist arbitration matter. As a reward for his conduct, Toole accepted things of value from the attorney.
Toole’s previous guilty plea to subscribing to a materially false federal income tax return is still in effect. That crime arises from his receipt of a cash referral fee of approximately $30,000 during calendar year 2006 which he failed to report on his federal income tax return for that year.
This case is part of an on-going investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of 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.
An indictment and criminal information is 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.
Peter J. Smith
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