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Friday, July 11, 2008

Former Judge Sentenced to Prison on Fraud Charges

Former Judge Sentenced to Prison on Fraud Charges
New York Lawyer - July 11, 2008

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - A former Schererville town judge was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Thursday for pocketing thousands of dollars from her court driving school program. Judge Philip Simon also ordered during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Hammond that Deborah Riga pay the Town of Schererville and the state about $12,000 in restitution. Riga could have faced two years in prison but was granted leniency because she cooperated with an ongoing federal public corruption investigation.

She was judge of Schererville's town court, which hears traffic offenses, minor drug and alcohol cases and small-claims cases, from January 2000 through December 2003. Riga pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud in June 2006. In the plea agreement, she admitted that she "devised a scheme to defraud the public and the Town of Schererville of their right to my honest services" when she was judge. She said she took control of the court's Crossroads counseling program and driving school and set up a bank account in which she secretly had an interest. Through that, she received about $12,000 in payments from the court's defendants. She also stopped paying rent to the town for her courtroom and made the town pay court employees who should have been paid out of the Crossroads program, Riga has said.


Anonymous said...

who knows the larceny that lurks in the hearts of all attorneys - the shadow knows!

Anonymous said...

Judges in need of investigation in Orange County New York Judge Andrew Bivona, Judge Debra Kiediasch, Judge John K. McGuirk. Somebody needs to take a look at the cases they are involved. There are some serious and dangerous patterns.

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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