Fumo friend admits fraud in $287k Pa. contracts
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - October 20, 2009 -- A friend of imprisoned former state Sen. Vincent Fumo admits the powerful lawmaker steered him nearly $290,000 in state funds through phony senate contracts.
S. Michael Palermo was a close friend and top aide to Fumo. Fumo, a Philadelphia Democrat, is serving a 55-month sentence for defrauding the senate and two nonprofits of several million dollars.
The 69-year-old Palermo is likely to get five years probation under terms of a plea he entered Wednesday.
Prosecutors say there's no evidence he did any work for the $150-an-hour transportation consulting contracts. Palermo says he did some work but nothing close to the 2,000 hours for which he was paid.
A judge set sentencing for Jan. 22.
Defense lawyer Robert Scandone declined comment.
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