SCRANTON, Pa. – Two Pennsylvania judges charged with taking kickbacks to send youth offenders to privately run detention centers have pleaded guilty to fraud.
Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister company, Western PA Child Care LLC.
The judges were charged on Jan. 26 and removed from the bench by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shortly afterward.
The judges pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Scranton. Their plea agreements call for sentences of more than seven years in prison.