WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A businessman who has already paid $4.75 million to settle a lawsuit by juveniles wrongly sent to his Pennsylvania detention centers is claiming he’s broke in an effort to avoid paying up to $2.75 million more in damages.
The (Hazleton) Standard-Speaker (https://bit.ly/2qLPs9k ) reports Robert Powell claims to be $5.6 million in debt, and unable to pay anything more to settle the case.
Powell was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the “kids for cash” kickback scheme that led the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to vacate the convictions of thousands of juveniles.
Powell claimed two now-imprisoned Luzerne County judges, Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan, forced him to pay kickbacks so they’d send juveniles to two private juvenile facilities Powell partly owned.
Attorneys for the juvenile plaintiffs are asking for an independent audit of Powell’s wealth.
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