New Legislation Could Lead to Harsher Penalties for Pennsylvania White Collar Crime
It appears that the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee will be considering new legislation that would make penalties tougher on Pennsylvania public officials who are found guilty of white collar crime. The bill, which was written by Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks County), would expand the crimes that would require guilty public officials to forfeit their pensions.
The law that the bill would amend was last edited in the early 1980s, and Petri and other representatives believe that it is time to give it another look. According to a former senior deputy attorney general, Laurel Brandstetter, the public corruption laws in the state are ineffective in their current form and require a lot of tightening to close what she considers to be some clear loopholes.
As the law currently exists, crimes that would automatically cause pensions to be taken away from public officials include bribery, forgery, theft by deception, extortion, false swearing, theft of services, tampering with records and official oppression. One draft of the new legislation by Petri would expand the law to include any type of criminal act related to that person’s employment, including both misdemeanors and felonies.
According to Petri, there is little to no opposition to his proposed legislation, which means we will likely see amendments to these laws coming sooner than later. This means that any public officials found guilty of some sort of white collar crime could face more severe punishments than what they had in the past for the same offenses.
For more information on what this could mean for your case and how you can defend against these charges, consult dedicated Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.