Former State Treasurer Barbara H. Hafer Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements To Federal Law Enforcement Agents
HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Barbara H. Hafer, the former Treasurer of Pennsylvania, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, to making false statements to federal law enforcement agents in connection with a long-term FBI-IRS investigation of alleged pay-to-play activities involving Pennsylvania State government. Judge Jones accepted Hafer’s guilty plea and did not set a date for sentencing. Hafer was indicted on July 20, 2016, and was scheduled to stand trial on June 12, 2017.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Hafer was interviewed by federal law enforcement agents in May 2016, regarding her relationship with Richard W. Ireland, an individual that had financial relationships with businesses that provided asset management services to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department while Hafer served as Treasurer. After leaving office, Hafer operated a consulting firm known as Hafer and Associates, LLC, that entered into a contract with a business associated with Ireland. During Hafer’s interview, she denied receiving any money from Ireland or any businesses he was associated with and denied receiving any help from Ireland or any businesses he was associated with in connection with her operation of Hafer and Associates. Hafer admitted today that she lied to the federal agents during that interview because Ireland helped Hafer’s consulting business by causing $675,000 to be paid to Hafer and Associates between 2005 and 2007, an amount that was a substantial portion of Hafer and Associates’ revenue during that time period.
“Our system of justice depends on federal law enforcement agents receiving complete and accurate information from individuals who are being interviewed as part of a criminal investigation, particularly a high-profile public corruption investigation. Lying to federal agents is a serious crime and the United States Attorney’s Office treats these offenses accordingly. Today’s guilty plea will hopefully deter others from engaging in similar misconduct in the future,” stated United States Attorney Brandler. Brandler also congratulated the FBI and IRS agents who participated in this investigation and thanked them for their outstanding work.
“When public officials commit crimes, whether as part of their official duties or in their private lives, they are violating the public trust. Today’s guilty plea helps ensure that all Americans, including public officials, are held to the same standard.” said Greg Floyd, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Philadelphia Field Office.
"Willfully lying to federal agents, besides being a federal offense, threatens the integrity of the justice system," said Michael Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. "The FBI can't properly pursue our investigative mandate – in this case, fighting public corruption – if the people we interview feel they can deceive us with impunity."
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and is assigned to Senior Litigation Counsel Michael A. Consiglio and Assistant United States Attorneys William S. Houser, Phillip J. Caraballo and Carlo D. Marchioli.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is five years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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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