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Public Corruption Prosecutions

This web page is a means for the public to be informed of the status of pending and recent cases of great and/or continuing public interest involving or related to public corruption. The web page information will be updated periodically.

For publicly available information on other cases prosecuted as part of the U.S. Attorney's Office's continuing focus on public corruption as a high priority, please check our website or contact our media representative at 717-221-4482.  In coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the office is continuing to investigate and prosecute alleged federal, state, and local corruption and government program fraud throughout the district.

If you believe that you have information relating to criminal wrongdoing relating to federal, state, and/or local political corruption in the Middle District of Pennsylvania please contact the the U.S. Attorney's Office via email usapam.contact@usdoj.gov or phone at 717-221-4482 or the nearest FBI office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania:

FBI Harrisburg

FBI Scranton

FBI Williamsport

FBI State College

FBI Allentown (Schuylkill County)

RECENT PROSECUTIONS

Tyson Baker

Tyson Baker, age 43, of Etters, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on March 12, 2018 to 42 months’ imprisonment and two years’ supervised release.  Baker, a former 17 year veteran police officer with the Fairview Township Police Department, was convicted on September 14, 2017, for theft of seized money that was evidence in two separate drug cases.  The FBI in Harrisburg received information that Baker stole money from drug traffickers who were arrested, the subject of traffic stops, or both. On November 21, 2015, Baker orchestrated the theft of $2,000 in drug proceeds seized by the Fairview Township Police Department during a search of a residence that resulted in the seizure of several pounds of marijuana and approximately $15,000. On December 16, 2015, the FBI arranged for a vehicle operated by an undercover FBI agent to be stopped by Fairview Township Police. Baker had the vehicle towed from the scene and, without a warrant and in spite of directions from an FBI agent not to search the vehicle, Baker searched the vehicle and stole $3,000 out of $15,000 concealed in a gym bag in the back of the vehicle. The undercover vehicle was equipped with video recording equipment that recorded Baker going through the vehicle without a warrant.  

Barbara Hafer

On October 31, 2017, the former Treasurer of Pennsylvania, Barbara H. Hafer, age 72, of Indiana, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 36 months’ probation for concealing from federal investigators the receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees.

Hafer was charged in July 2016 with two counts of making false statements to federal agents. In May 2016, federal agents interviewed Hafer as a part of an ongoing investigation.  During the interview, Hafer concealed her financial relationship with a business person, referred to in the indictment as “Person #1,” claiming that this person did not help with her consulting business.  When shown a signed contract between Hafer & Associates, LLC, and a company owned by the business person, Hafer denied receiving any payment on the contract.

Person #1 had a financial relationship with multiple businesses and had relationships, including fee sharing arrangements, with entities that provided asset management services to the Pennsylvania Treasury while Hafer served as Treasurer.

The Hafer interview took place as part of an ongoing long-term FBI-IRS investigation of alleged pay-to-play activities involving the Pennsylvania State government. The investigation revealed that in February 2005, within weeks of leaving the Office of Treasurer, a firm associated with Person #1 began making payments to Hafer’s consulting firm. For a year, Hafer & Associates received $41,667 a month, totaling the $500,000 committed in the contract.  Further, the investigation found that payments began before the contract was signed by the parties.  

Although Hafer claimed that this business person did not help her consulting business, the investigation revealed that the money allegedly accounted for approximately 73% of the funds Hafer & Associates earned in 2005. Person #1 helped Hafer’s business by causing the $500,000 agreement to be entered into between Hafer & Associates and a company associated with Person #1 which did not require Hafer & Associates to achieve any particular result; before the Agreement was signed by all parties, Person #1 caused a company associated with Person #1 to pay the first of 12 monthly installments of $41,667 due pursuant to the Agreement; Person #1 caused the payment of approximately $500,000 to be made under the Agreement during the first year Hafer & Associates was in operation; and Person #1 caused an additional $175,000 to be paid to Hafer’s business during calendar years 2006 and 2007.

Hafer served two terms as Pennsylvania’s elected State Treasurer from 1997 to 2005 and two terms as State Auditor General from 1989 to 1997. 

Timothy R. Riley

Timothy B. Riley, age 48, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on March 30, 2018, to conspiring to launder stolen drug proceeds. Riley was formerly employed as a Narcotics Agent with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics Investigations from 2008 to 2014 and was assigned to the Mobile Street Crimes Unit from 2013 until September 2014, which operated out of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. On June 25, 2014, Riley was notified by an unindicted coconspirator about a large amount of cash from a coast-to-coast marijuana trafficking organization that he was transporting in a rental truck in Pennsylvania.  Riley and other members of the Mobile Street Crimes Unit met the unindicted coconspirator at a truck stop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and seized approximately $1,770,650 in cash located in the rental truck.  After the seizure, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, joined by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, conducted a full investigation, revealing that more than $800,000 was stolen by the driver of the truck aided by at least one other unindicted coconspirator, prior to the seizure.  Riley received three cash payments from the unindicted coconspirators, totaling $48,000.  Riley then deposited and conducted other financial transactions with that money, knowing it was stolen proceeds of drug trafficking.  Sentencing has not been scheduled.

Robert McCord

On February 17, 2015, former Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert M. McCord pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted extortion. McCord admitted that he attempted to extort campaign contributions from a law firm and a property management company while he was running for Governor by threatening economic harm to the potential donors if they failed to make sufficient campaign contributions. In particular, McCord threatened to use his position as State Treasurer to interfere with the business that the law firm and property management firm were conducting with the state if they did not make the contributions.  McCord resigned from the Office of State Treasurer on January 30, 2015.  Sentencing is scheduled for August 28, 2018.

James Short, Jr.

On July 31, 2018, the former Director of Marketing and Merchandising for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PA-LCB) was sentenced to two years' probation and six months' house arrest for a scheme to defraud the state, its citizens and the PA-LCB of their right to his honest services as a public official through bribes, kick-backs and concealing information. James H. Short, Jr., age 53, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, admitted to the charge of Honest Services Mail Fraud at his guilty plea on September 16, 2015.  Short was indicted by a grand jury in August 2015. Short served as the Director of Marketing and Merchandising from approximately 2003 to 2012 and supervised the process through which alcoholic beverages are selected and acquired for sale in Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor stores.  

By pleading guilty Short admitted to approximately 10 years (2002 to 2012) of receiving benefits from a distributor and a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages sold in Pennsylvania’s stores.  These benefits included all-expense paid golf trips, cash, gift cards, meals, and other benefits.

As Director of Marketing and Merchandising for the PA-LCB, Short supervised the process of recommending to the PA-LCB which new products should be sold and which products should no longer be sold in Pennsylvania’s 500 state-run liquor stores. 

 

Updated August 2, 2018

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