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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Former Philadelphia Sheriff John Green Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that former Philadelphia Sheriff John Green, 72, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to sixty months’ imprisonment, one year supervised release, forfeiture of $76,581, and a $17,500 fine by United States District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone.

Green pled guilty in April 2019 to conspiring to defraud the citizens of Philadelphia while serving as Sheriff by receiving and accepting a stream of hidden personal benefits from co-defendant James Davis, in exchange for giving Davis millions of dollars of business from the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. 

From 2002 to 2011, Green accepted bribes and kickbacks from Davis totaling over $675,000.  The bribes and kickbacks included: (1) a move-in ready home in Philadelphia for Green and his new wife in 2003; (2) employment of Green’s wife as a subcontractor when she started a business in 2004, paying her over $89,000; (3) facilitation of over $65,000 in hidden campaign contributions to Green’s 2007 re-election campaign; (4) payment of over $148,000 in advertising for Green’s 2007 re-election campaign and falsely reporting the payments on the campaign finance reports; and (5) over $320,000 in payments to Green to assist him with the purchase of his retirement home in Florida in 2010. 

In exchange, Green gave his Davis over $35 million in business at the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office through the sale of homes at Sheriff’s sales. Green left office at the end of 2010, over one year before the expiration of his term, after the City of Philadelphia, Office of the Controller, issued an audit report in October 2010 expressing concern about potential irregularities with respect to the funds from Sheriff’s sales held by the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office.  The Controller’s Office hired Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, which conducted a forensic investigation of the Sheriff’s Office.  Deloitte issued a final report in October 2011 that revealed the extent of the hidden business that Green had given to Davis and provided its findings to the government.    

“Public officials hold office to serve the public good, not to line their own pockets” said U.S. Attorney McSwain.  “When public servants abuse their authority and flout the rule of law, they disgrace themselves and the offices they hold.  That is what Green did here and he is now paying the price.  Every public official should be on notice after today’s sentence: federal law enforcement is watching and we will hold you accountable to the law and to the public that you are supposed to serve.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the City of Philadelphia Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah L. Grieb and Christopher Diviny, and U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Jennifer A. Clarke.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Contact: 
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 JENNIFER CRANDALL Media Contact 215-861-8300 If you have not done so already, follow @USAO_EDPA and @USAttyMcSwain to get the most up-to-date information about big cases and community news.
Updated August 1, 2019