The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania announced today that a second superseding indictment has
been returned against former State Senator Raphael J. Musto,
Pennsylvania 14th Senatorial District. This new indictment amends
previous charges brought against Senator Musto, who is currently
scheduled for trial on January 6, 2014.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Senator
Musto, age 85, of Pittston, was originally charged in an indictment
in November 2011. Those charges alleged that Senator Musto accepted
$25,000 cash payment from a construction contractor whom had
developed various properties in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.
Senator Musto accepted the $25,000 in cash, as well as other things
of value from the contractor, as part of a stream of benefits
designed to secure Senator Musto’s continued support of various
construction projects which were to the financial benefit of the
In addition, Senator Musto was alleged to have accepted
thousands of dollars in cash from another individual affiliated with
Northeast Pennsylvania municipal authorities. That cash payment was
accepted by Senator Musto as a reward for prior official action taken
by the senator where he assisted the municipal authorities obtain
loans and grants. In addition, Senator Musto accepted these funds
intending to be influenced in his future official decisions.
In October 2012, the original indictment was superseded by a
grand jury to include two new charges of public corruption. In 2006,
Senator Musto is alleged to have accepted $1,000 and other benefits
from an individual affiliated with a municipality in return for his
assistance with passing through a loan application for the
municipality. Senator Musto is alleged to have done the same, for the
same individual, in 2008, again in return for his assistance with the
passage of a loan application for local municipalities.
The Indictment returned Wednesday amended portions of this
indictment to include a broader array of things of value provided to
Senator Musto and changed one of the charges in the indictment.
In October 2012, attorneys for Senator Musto filed a motion with
the court to dismiss the pending charges, or to indefinitely postpone
the trial, because of Senator Musto’s physical health. The government
objected to this request and Senior United States District Court
Judge A. Richard Caputo agreed. The defense appealed this decision to
Page 2 of 2 - the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court denied the
appeal and on October 22, 2013, the case was returned to Judge Caputo
who scheduled it for trial on January 6, 2014.
On November 15, 2013, Senator Musto filed a renewed motion with
the court to indefinitely postpone the trial. In this latest motion,
the defense has identified the senator’s deteriorating physical
health as well was his mental competency to stand trial as reasons
for the trial postponement. The United States has not agreed with
this request and will be filing a response asking Judge Caputo to
schedule a hearing where the defense will be required to prove that
Senator Musto is unable to withstand trial and/or assist his
This case is part of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service and is being
prosecuted by a team of federal prosecutors led by Senior Litigation
Counsel Gordon Zubrod and includes Assistant U.S. Attorneys William
Houser, Michael Consiglio, Amy Phillips John Gurganus and Criminal
Division Chief Christian Fisanick.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All
persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found
guilty in court.