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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Former Counselor At The Luzerne County Correctional Facility Pleads Guilty To Extortion And A Firearm Charge

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Louis Elmy, age 51, of Wilkes-Barre, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik today in Scranton to extortion and a firearms violation. 

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Elmy was charged in a Criminal Information filed in June 2016 in the U.S. District Court in Scranton, with extortion and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, specifically, the possession of and intent to distribute crack cocaine. The Information was filed pursuant to a plea agreement between the United States and Elmy.

While acting in his official capacity as the work release counselor at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, Elmy extorted money and other items of value from inmates on work release in exchange for giving them special privileges and unauthorized furloughs.

In order to have documentation for the furloughs that would appeared legitimate, Elmy created court orders by cutting and pasting a Luzerne County Judge’s signature from an older order onto the fraudulent order, and then photocopied the document for the file.  Elmy engaged in the conduct between November 2013 and February 2016.

Elmy was arrested in February 2016 on a criminal complaint relating to the firearms charge.

Elmy was employed by Luzerne County for approximately 20 years, including work as a corrections officer at the correctional facility prior to being a work release counselor.  Elmy also served as a member and president of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board prior to the time period when the alleged criminal conduct occurred.

The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Scranton Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute for the extortion charge is 20 years’ imprisonment.  The firearms charge carries a maximum term of life, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.  Each charge also carries a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release following any period of incarceration.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Updated July 21, 2016