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US: Former JP Morgan Vice President Will Plead Guilty

by Jon HurdleReuters
January 12th, 2005

Federal prosecutors alleging corruption in Philadelphia's city government said on Wednesday they have reached a plea agreement with a former employee of JP Morgan, one of the defendants.

Anthony Snell, a former vice president of the Wall Street firm, will on Thursday plead guilty to wire fraud offenses, after previously denying the charges, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prosecutors agreed to abandon sentencing guidelines if Snell provides "substantial" help leading to the prosecution of others in the case.

Snell and co-defendant Charles LeCroy are charged with fraudulently obtaining a $50,000 payment from JP Morgan for legal work by Ronald White, a key figure in the corruption scandal, who died from cancer last year.

Snell and LeCroy, his supervisor, submitted a false invoice for work that White did not perform after JP Morgan declined to hire White as a consultant for obtaining City of Philadelphia business, the indictment charges. LeCroy has pleaded guilty.

The central charge in the corruption scandal is that White, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and supporter of Mayor John Street, provided former City Treasurer Corey Kemp with cash and gifts in return for Kemp ensuring that favored firms got city business, including bond transactions. Kemp's decision created "large financial gains" for White and some of his associates, prosecutors allege.

The corruption probe came to public attention in October 2003 when listening devices were found hidden in the ceiling of Mayor Street's office. Street is not charged in the case, and has consistently refused to comment on it.

The 10 surviving defendants in the case face a total of 63 charges including mail and wire fraud, making false statements to the FBI, money laundering, and filing false income tax returns. Trials are scheduled to start on Jan. 18.

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