News and Press Releases

November 2, 2010

FORMER LUZERNE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS JUDGE MICHAEL T. TOOLE PLEADS GUILTY TO CORRUPT RECEIPT OF REWARD FOR OFFICIAL ACTION

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael T. Toole pleaded guilty before Senior Judge Richard P. Conaboy to the corrupt receipt of a reward for official actions.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Toole, age 49, of Wilkes Barre, admitted that he corruptly received a reward for official action in violation of the federal statute concerning state and local government programs that are federally funded. Toole improperly ruled in an attorney's favor in a proceeding relating to an uninsured/underinsured motorist arbitration matter. In exchange for this judicial action, Toole accepted a reward from the attorney.

     Toole had previously entered a guilty plea to a charge of honest services fraud and subscribing to a materially false federal income tax return. The new charge, contained in a superceding Information, was filed because of changes in the application of the honest services fraud statute resulting from a recent Supreme Court ruling. Toole's previous guilty plea to subscribing to a materially false federal income tax return remains in effect. That crime arose from Toole's receipt of a cash referral fee of approximately $30,000 during calendar year 2006 that 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.


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Peter J. Smith
U.S. Attorney
(717) 221-4482
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