UPDATE: Third Defendant Pleads Guilty In Philadelphia Ticket-Fixing Scheme
By: John A. Schwab
The Philadelphia Traffic Court saga continues as Fortunato Perri, Sr., formerly the president judge of the Traffic Court, pleaded guilty yesterday in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He admitted that he received free auto repairs, videos, and seafood in exchange for ensuring that ticket holders received favorable treatment. Perri received and passed on information like citation numbers, names of ticket holders, or the actual tickets to the Traffic Court’s Director of Records, who then conveyed the request to the assigned judge. The plea encompassed one count of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud based on his role in the scheme.
Mr. Perri is the third defendant to plead guilty in this scheme. Last month, Kenneth Miller and Warren Hogeland, both former Traffic Court judges, pled guilty to federal charges related to the traffic ticket-fixing scandal. The allegation in this case were summarized in criminal informations and an indictment, all filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, including against sitting Traffic Court judges Michael Sullivan, Michael Lowry, Robert Mulgrew, Willie Singletary, Thomasine Tynes, and Mark Bruno. The indictment, filed on January 29, 2013, has 77 counts alleging conspiracy, wire and mail fraud, perjury, false statements to FBI agents, and aiding and abetting. Judges Lowry, Mulgrew, and Tynes are charged with committing perjury before the federal grand jury. Singletary is charged with lying to FBI agents when questioned about ticket fixing at the Traffic Court. A full copy of the indictment can be found here.
Mr. Perri’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 21, 2013.