“Kids for Cash” developer Robert Mericle reported to the Schuylkill Federal Prison Camp near Minersville on Monday to begin serving his sentence for corruption.
Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik on April 25 imposed a 12-month sentence on Mericle, 51, of Jackson Township, nearly five years after Mericle pleaded guilty to withholding information about the commission of a felony for helping disgraced former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan disguise the source of “finder’s fees” Mericle paid them.
The fees, which were not illegal, were paid in connection with Mericle’s construction of two for-profit juvenile detention centers, to which county youths were committed by Ciavarella.
Mericle pleaded guilty in 2009, but his sentencing was delayed while he cooperated with federal authorities on several cases. His help resulted in the filing of corruption-related charges against the late state Sen. Raphael Musto of Pittston Township. Musto died the day before Mericle was sentenced, and his case never went to trial.
Mericle will face one year of probation after he completes his incarceration.
The Times Leader first reported Mericle’s prison assignment on Sunday.