- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A businessman will pay at least $4.75 million to settle a lawsuit by juveniles sent to his Pennsylvania detention centers by a corrupt judge.

A federal judge gave final approval to the settlement on Wednesday.

Robert Powell was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the scandal that became known as “kids for cash,” a kickback scheme that led the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to vacate the convictions of thousands of juveniles.

Powell testified 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 facilities. The judges are serving long prison terms.

Powell could be forced to pay an additional $2.5 million depending on a calculation of his net worth.

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