- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A former traffic court judge was sentenced Wednesday to 2½ years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of fraud and tax evasion.

Robert Mulgrew apologized to U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II, his family and his neighborhood for betraying their trust in a scheme to steal tens of thousands of dollars in state grant money from a nonprofit group, The Philadelphia Inquirer (https://bit.ly/X2Er51 ) reported.

“I’m sorry for these mistakes, and they will never happen again,” the 55-year-old defendant said.

Mulgrew was vice president of the Friends of Dickinson Square group, which received the money to clean up a park in South Philadelphia’s Pennsport neighborhood.

Prosecutors said Mulgrew pocketed the money and gave it to relatives and political friends. He also billed the nonprofit for items such as leases on his personal vehicles, an $827 camera and cigarettes between 2002 and 2010, the newspaper reported.

The judge ordered Mulgrew to repay the state nearly $200,000 as well as $123,000 in back federal taxes and fines.

Two weeks ago, Mulgrew was among four former traffic court judges who were convicted by a federal jury of lying to authorities, but they were cleared of most charges in a sweeping ticket-fixing case.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com


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