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Former owner of Pa. youth lockups at center of 'kids for cash' scandal sentenced to 18 months
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) ' A lawyer who testified that he paid kickbacks to a pair of northeastern Pennsylvania judges has been ordered to spend 18 months in federal prison.
Robert Powell pleaded guilty in 2009 to concealing a felony and an accessory charge in the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.
Powell testified that he was forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to former Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan in return for their support of his two private juvenile detention facilities.
Powell had faced the possibility of several years in prison but was shown leniency because of his cooperation with authorities.
Ciavarella and Conahan are both serving long prison terms. The scandal led the state Supreme Court to vacate the convictions of thousands of juveniles who appeared before Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008.