Fumo is Ordered to Pay More Restitution for His Fraud

February 4, 2013 – In The News
The Philadelphia Inquirer

A federal appeals panel has ruled that State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo must pay much more in restitution to one of his victims after determining that too light a burden was imposed on him in his 2011 resentencing.

Two years ago, Fumo and a former aide, Ruth Arnao, were ordereed to split 50/50 the approximately $1.6 million in restitution due to a South Philadelphia civic-improvement organization.

Federal prosecutors disagreed with the severity of the punishment, suggesting that Fumo should pay virtually all $1.6 million himself. In contrast to Fumo, Arnao would take decades to pay her share due to her current employment position. In addition, Fumo directed the crime and reaped nearly all of the benefits.

In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit endorsed all the prosecutors' arguments. The panel said that Arnao had merely been "a loyal aide carrying out the order of her boss, the real mastermind behind the fraud itself."

Patrick Egan, Arnao's lawyer, welcomed the ruling.

"It straightens out a confusing and unfortunate error in the lower court's judgment," Egan said. "It's clear that Fumo received the lion's share of the benefit and therefore he should be responsible for the restitution."