Vince Fumo trial: Same federal judge, very similar result

A federal judge resentenced former Sen. Vince Fumo to 61 months in prison yesterday, adding just six months on to his original sentence.

In 2009, Fumo was convicted of defrauding the state Senate, the Citizens Alliance and the Independence Seaport Museum of millions of dollars and trying to thwart the government’s investigation by lying and having his henchmen destroy e-mails.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter, whose previous sentence was tossed out by a federal appeals court, was more deliberate in his ruling yesterday, insisting that the guideline range of 18 to 21 years was “completely unfitting” in Fumo’s case since it involved neither bribery nor extortion and its only victims were not individuals.

Fumo’s family and friends showed relief outside the courtroom, hugging and smiling, while prosecutors were notably less demonstrative.

“We’re disappointed with the sentence obviously, because we asked for significantly more time — 15 years — but we respect the process,” said U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger, adding that his office has not yet decided whether to appeal.

Fumo was back in the press the past two weeks after e-mails he sent during his time in jail were made public, sparking controversy.

What judge weighed

Buckwalter criticized prosecutors for running up the number of charges — 137 counts in all – as he said it reflected the “very unfairness” warned of in the U.S. attorneys manual.

Buckwalter said that Fumo’s prison e-mails gave him “the most pause,” referring to one that called the trial jury “dumb, partial and


Once released from prison, Fumo will serve three years supervised release and be required to do 10 hours of community service per week for one year.

Buckwalter increased the amount of Fumo’s restitution from $2.4 million to $3.5 million

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