Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C. and Cefalo and Associates have announced that a partial settlement with a second set of defendants has been reached in the Luzerne County juvenile-court civil litigation. The settlement, which must receive court approval, is between defendants PA Child Care, LLC, Western PA Child Care, LLC, and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., and counsel representing the plaintiff juveniles and parents of juveniles who appeared before former juvenile court judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. The civil lawsuit is continuing against, among others, the former judges.
Philadelphia, PA - Today the law firm of Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C. (CBMC) applauded District Judge A. Richard Caputo's ruling approving the partial settlement in the "kids for cash" case. Under the agreement, Mericle Construction and its president, Robert K. Mericle will pay nearly $18 million into a settlement fund.
Court records for juveniles who were sent to a detention centers in Luzerne County in the "kids for cash" scandal will stay closed, according to a federal judge. In 2009, the detention centers agreed to a protective order that limited the discovery documents that may be exposed. The records were expunged after two judges were sent to jail. The detention centers-Mid-Atlantic Youth Services, PA Child Care, and Western PA Child Care-asked the court to allow them to show the records that were sanctioned to the parties during an informal setting, rather than through the deposition process.
As reported in the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice today, the U.S. District Court on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a $17.75 million settlement between Robert Mericle and the children and families who were victims in the kids for cash case.
Attorney David S. Senoff, the Philadelphia-based partner in the Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C. law firm, released the following statement today on the similarities between the so-called Kids for Cash case in Luzerne County, PA and the Penn State University sex scandal. Senoff and the Caroselli Beachler firm currently represent more than 300 victims in the Kids for Cash civil case.
The "Kids for Cash" judges, Mark Ciavarella and Mike Conahan, will be sentenced in the next few months according to a 13 February report. It has been said that they may each face a term of more than seven years in a federal penitentiary. If that is the case, odds are they will be released in less than four years.
According to the civil suit filed on 7 March 2009, the "Kids for Cash" judges, Mark Ciavarella and Mike Conahan, included their wives as a part of their for-profit juvenile detention center scheme. The two women, Cindy Ciavarella and Barbara Conahan, became principal owners of a "shell" company called Pinnacle Group that is known to have received $1 million in one day, on 15 July 2005, from Robert Mericle's company, Mericle Construction, the group that built the youth detention centers. Officials found that Pinnacle Group actually has record of several payments received, but are shown as rental fees and lease charges; although only the 15 July, $1 million payment has been made public.
Breaking news in the "Kids for Cash" scandal has just come out that one agreement in particular with Pennsylvania Child Care (PACC) and Western Pennsylvania Child Care (WPACC), completed in 2004, was worth $58 million worth of juvenile conviction referrals. It was, however, later negated as an "unreasonable contractual obligation" of government monies.
In February, two Pennsylvania juvenile court judges pled guilty to charges of incarcerating minors as a means for kick-back money from the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care in exchange for what officials are calling "referrals." Since 2003, it is estimated that judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas have "referred" around 5,000 young men and women and have received roughly $2.6 million for their doing so.