Why in the world would attorney Johnston hide documents? Obstructing a federal investigation just seems like a really bad idea.
A Camp Hill attorney was indicted by a federal grand jury in April for obstruction of proceedings, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District announced Monday.
Charles W. Johnston, 70, of Camp Hill, was indicted on the charge while acting as legal counsel for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 520 Plan from Aug. 28, 2014, to May 1, 2015.
The indictment, which was unsealed Monday, alleges Johnston withheld and concealed documents related to allegations of mismanagement of the pension plan and fraud, made by PATH, the pension’s third party administrator, according to the U.S. District Attorney David Freed.
"... PATH Administrators was mentioned in an indictment charging Charles W. Johnston, esquire, with obstruction of justice in relation to his duties as counsel to Local 520. There are no allegations of wrongdoing by PATH or any of its employees in the indictment," PATH clarified in a statement Tuesday. "Although the indictment and accompanying press release are clumsily worded, they clearly state that the allegations against Mr. Johnston are for obstructing an investigation into allegations made by PATH, not fraud committed by PATH. PATH brought the allegations, which relate to actions taken by a prior third-party administrator to the attention of Mr. Johnston."
“The prosecution of those who obstruct the investigative activities of the Employee Benefits Security Administration is essential to this agency’s mission to protect the rights of America’s workers,” said Michael Schloss, administration regional director in Philadelphia. “We and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively investigate such crimes on behalf of workers nationwide.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the EBSA and the FBI.
Source: The Sentinel
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Camp Hill Attorney Charged With Obstruction Of Proceedings Before Agencies Of The United States
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Charles W. Johnston, age 70, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 12, 2018, for obstruction of proceedings before agencies of the United States. The indictment was unsealed today
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that from August 28, 2014 to May 1, 2015, Johnston, legal counsel for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 520 Plan, corruptly withheld and concealed documents related to allegations of mismanagement of the pension plan and fraud made by PATH, the pension’s third party administrator.
"An important mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud affecting the employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations,” said Richard Deer, Special Agent-in-Charge, Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
“The prosecution of those who obstruct the investigative activities of the Employee Benefits Security Administration is essential to this agency’s mission to protect the rights of America’s workers,” said Michael Schloss, EBSA Regional Director in Philadelphia. “We and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively investigate such crimes on behalf of workers nationwide.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph J. Terz is prosecuting the case.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is four years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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