Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Will Frank Pallone lose his Federal Pension?

It seems like based on Frank Pallone's bribery, racketeering and fraud regarding his actions with ReGen and the FDA, Pallone might as well just turn in his federal pension now.

Frank Pallone - One Set of Rules For Himself - One for Everyone Else.

Sixth District of New Jersey

CONTACT: Andrew Souvall

April 18, 2005

or Jennifer Cannata

(202) 225-4671


---Bill Would Also Double Financial Penalties---

Long Branch, NJ --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced today that he will introduce legislation this week in the U.S. House of Representatives instituting tougher penalties for government officials convicted on federal corruption charges. The New Jersey lawmaker's legislation excludes convicted officials from receiving any federal pensions once they are found guilty in federal court, and doubles the financial penalties corrupt officials are required to pay.

Under current federal law, governmental officials, whether elected, appointed or hired, are still entitled to their federal pensions if they are convicted of any crime, with the exception of treason, in a federal court. In 1954, Congress passed legislation prohibiting the distribution of federal pensions to federal officers and employees, including Members of Congress, who were convicted of various offences relating to disloyalty. Eight years later, the legislation was amended to only include the loss of pensions for federal officers and employees in instances of disloyalty on issues relating to national security and defense.

Pallone pointed to former U.S. Rep. James Traficant, a Democrat who represented a congressional district in Ohio for 18 years, who was convicted in federal court in 2001 of ten charges including bribery, racketeering, fraud and tax evasion. Despite his expulsion from the House and the fact he's now serving a ten-year prison sentence, Traficant still has access to the federal pension that he accrued during his 18 years in the House.

"It defies reason to allow a government official access to a pension after they've been found guilty of a federal crime," Pallone said. "My legislation will broaden federal laws to prevent any convicted official from receiving his or her federal pension."

Pallone's legislation also doubles the financial penalties corrupt officials are forced to pay once they are convicted. Currently, under federal "anti-corruption" statutes, any government official faces up to 15 years in prison, but cannot be fined more than $250,000 if they are convicted of bribery in a federal court. The federal statute calls for fines of up to three times the monetary equivalent of the value of the bribe, or $250,000, whichever is greater. Pallone's legislation doubles those federal fines to $500,000.

"The federal government has to send a stronger message to government officials who betray the trust of the American people," Pallone said. "We should double these fines as a way to deter governmental officials from breaking the law."


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