The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO
This is a civil action brought by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968. The Commonwealth seeks to recover threefold the damages it alleges were sustained by reason of defendant Henry J. Cianfrani's placement of "ghost" workers on the payrolls of the Pennsylvania Senate. By agreement of the parties, the case was submitted to the Court for resolution based on a stipulation of facts (Document #17) and the record in United States v. Cianfrani, CR 77-412. For the reasons discussed below, I find in favor of plaintiff and against defendant.
1. Henry J. Cianfrani ("Cianfrani") was a member of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1966 until December 15, 1977. (Stipulation, para. 2).
2. As a member of the Pennsylvania Senate, Cianfrani was employed by and associated with an "enterprise" the activities of which affect interstate commerce.
3. On September 23, 1977, a Grand Jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania indicted Cianfrani on the following charges:
a. Conducting and participating in the affairs of an enterprise, the activities of which affect interstate commerce, through a pattern of racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c);
b. Knowingly using the mail for the purpose of (i) executing a scheme or artifice to defraud the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its citizens and (ii) obtaining money by false pretenses, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341;
c. Obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503; and
d. Income tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. (Stipulation, para. 3; Indictment, Counts 1-110).
4. As part of the indictment against Cianfrani under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c), the Grand Jury charged, in relevant portion, that during the period when Cianfrani was chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Majority Committee on Appropriations ("Majority Committee") he placed two individuals, namely Vera Domenico and Evangelina Domenico, on the payroll of the Majority Committee; that those two individuals received salary from the Majority Committee in the form of biweekly checks; that the approximate gross salary from the Majority Committee for Vera Domenico was $8,050.08 in 1973, $8,922.60 in 1974, and $795 in 1975; that the approximate gross salary from the Majority Committee for Evangelina Domenico was $4,125.06 in 1975 and $3,895.89 in 1976; that Vera Domenico and Evangelina Domenico would, and did, perform no duties or services for the Majority Committee or the Pennsylvania Senate; and that said actions were parts of a scheme and artifice (i) to defraud the Pennsylvania Senate and the citizens of the Commonwealth of money and of their right to the defendant's faithful performance of his official duties, and (ii) to obtain money by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. (Indictment, Count 1).
5. The Grand Jury further charged that, as part of the aforesaid scheme and artifice, Cianfrani caused Evangelina Domenico to be transferred from the payroll of the Majority Committee to the payroll of the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leadership Expense Fund ("Expense Fund") in approximately November, 1976; that Evangelina Domenico received salary from the Expense Fund until approximately June 30, 1977; that the approximate gross salary paid to Evangelina Domenico from the Expense Fund during that period was $4,354.23; and that Evangelina Domenico would, and did, perform no duties or services for the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leadership, the Pennsylvania Senate, or any member thereof. (Indictment, Count 1).
6. The Grand Jury charged that Cianfrani violated 18 U.S.C. § 1341 by knowingly causing to be delivered by mail envelopes containing checks to Vera Domenico and Evangelina Domenico for the purpose of executing the aforesaid scheme and artifice. (Indictment, Counts 2-99).
7. On December 30, 1977, Cianfrani entered pleas of guilty to Counts 1 to 102 of the indictment, which Counts charged him with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and ...