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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Additional Corruption Charges Filed Against Bucks County Public Officals

John I. Waltman, 59, of Trevose, Pennsylvania, Robert P. Hoopes, 70, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and Bernard T. Rafferty, 62, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, were charged in a second superseding indictment[1] with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, three counts of money laundering, one count of honest services wire fraud, three counts of honest services mail fraud, and one count of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, announced United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. 

 

Moreover, the second superseding indictment added further corruption charges against Waltman and Hoopes.  Specifically, Waltman was charged with five additional counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, three counts of Travel Act bribery, and two counts of wire fraud.  Hoopes was charged with three additional counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, three counts of Travel Act bribery, and two counts of wire fraud.

 

Hoopes was also charged with one count of witness tampering.  Kevin M. Biederman, 34, was also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, three counts of money laundering, and one count of bank bribery.

 

From October 2010 to December 2016, Waltman was a Magisterial District Judge in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  From February 2016 to December 2016, Hoopes was the Director of Public Safety in Lower Southampton Township, Pennsylvania.  In this position, Hoopes had authority over all police, fire, and emergency operations in the township.  Hoopes previously operated a legal practice in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  From 1998 to December 2016, Rafferty was a Deputy Constable in Bucks County.  Rafferty controlled Raff’s Consulting LLC, a corporation registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State on May 30, 2011.  From 2012 to March 2016, Biederman was a business development manager at Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (“PFCU”).

 

The second superseding indictment alleges that, from 2014 to 2016, Waltman and Hoopes solicited, extorted, and attempted to extort bribes and kickbacks from numerous businesses in exchange for Waltman’s and Hoopes’ influence over Lower Southampton Township’s Board of Supervisors, Solicitor, officers, and employees.  In one such alleged scheme, Waltman and Hoopes solicited bribe payments from the salesman of an outdoor advertising company in exchange for offering their influence to reduce lease payments from the company to Lower Southampton Township.

 

 Moreover, in November 2016, Waltman, Hoopes, and Rafferty allegedly accepted a bribe of $1,000, as well as the promise of other fees, in exchange for Waltman, Hoopes, and Rafferty to use their positions as public officials to “fix” a traffic case before Waltman in Bucks County Magisterial District Court.  In January 2017, Hoopes allegedly tried to influence a witness to falsely testify before the federal grand jury regarding the disposition of this $1,000 bribe.

 

In addition, from June 2015 to November 2016, Waltman, Hoopes, Rafferty, and Biedmeran allegedly conspired to launder funds represented to be proceeds from health care fraud, illegal drug trafficking, and bank fraud.  From June 2016 to August 2016, Waltman, Hoopes, Rafferty, and Biederman allegedly laundered $400,000 in cash, represented to be proceeds from health care fraud and illegal drug trafficking, and took money laundering fees totaling $80,000 in cash.

 

Further, in June 2015, Biederman, who was then a PFCU employee, allegedly solicited and accepted a bribe of $1,600 in exchange for agreeing to influence PFCU’s approval of a loan.

 

If convicted, Waltman faces a maximum possible sentence of 335 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $4.75 million fine, and a $1,900 special assessment. 

 

If convicted, Hoopes faces a maximum possible sentence of 315 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $4.5 million fine, and a $1,800 special assessment.

 

If convicted, Rafferty faces a maximum possible sentence of 180 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $2.25 million fine, and a $900 special assessment.

 

If convicted, Biederman faces a maximum possible sentence of 110 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a $2 million fine, and a $500 special assessment.

 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vineet Gauri.

                                                                             

 

[1]           An Indictment, Information, or Criminal Complaint is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed

innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Updated December 5, 2017