Farnese acquitted in federal fraud trial

February 1, 2017

The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Jeremy Roebuck

A federal jury on Wednesday acquitted State Sen. Larry Farnese of conspiracy and fraud charges, rejecting what his lawyers had described as a Justice Department attempt to criminalize behavior that had been lawful in Pennsylvania politics for years.


But what prosecutors described as a bribe, Farnese’s lawyer Mark Sheppard maintained was nothing more than a “good deed” in support of a deserving student that had nothing to do with the ward election.

“This was Sen. Farnese doing what he does best – helping others,” he said.

It didn’t make sense, he said in his own closing arguments, for Farnese to bribe just one of the upwards of 50 Eighth Ward committee members if he hoped to swing an election. What’s more, Sheppard argued, his client had the election all but wrapped up even before he had official declared he was seeking the job.

“He had the majority of the votes, and could probably – even with opposition – get all but 10 votes,” committeeman Sam Hopkins testified Friday. “That was without Larry making a single phone call.”


To read the full article, please click here.

Farnese is represented by Montgomery McCracken partner Mark B. Sheppard.