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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 22, 2019

Scranton Man Charged With Making False Statements In On-Going Public Corruption Investigation

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Edward Weidow, Sr., age 65, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was charged today in a criminal information with making false statements to federal investigators in a public corruption investigation involving former Mayor of Scranton, William Courtright.  Weidow is scheduled to appear in federal court in Scranton on July 23, 2019, at 2:30 p.m., before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion for his arraignment.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the criminal information alleges that Weidow took cash from vendors and then transferred the cash to former Mayor of Scranton William Courtright. The information further alleges that on January 9, 2019, Weidow was interviewed by the FBI and denied giving cash to Courtright, when in fact on numerous occasions, he had done so.

On July 2, 2019, Courtright entered a guilty plea to an information charging him with various public corruption offenses.  The day before the guilty plea, Courtright resigned as Mayor of the City of Scranton.

Courtright’s corrupt activities came to light during a multi-year undercover investigation headed by the FBI.  The undercover investigation revealed that the former mayor accepted cash payments from vendors doing business with the city in a pay-to-play scheme.             

The case was investigated by the FBI and was assisted by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Consiglio, Michelle Olshefski and William Houser are prosecuting the case.

Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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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Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated July 22, 2019