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.