Southeastern PA

Additional charges filed against Bucks County public officials

Bucks County public officials are facing additional corruption charges.

John Waltman, 59, Robert Hoopes, 70, and Bernard Rafferty, 62, are looking at one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, three counts of money laundering, one count of honest services wire fraud, three counts of honest services mail fraud, and one count of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, according to U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen.

The second superseding indictment added further charges against Hoopes and Waltman. Waltman is facing five additional counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right -- which is the wrongful taking by a public officer of money or property not due to him with or without force or use of fear -- three counts of Travel Act bribery, and two counts of wire fraud. 

Hoopes is facing three additional counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, three counts of Travel Act bribery, one count of witness tampering, and two counts of wire fraud.

Kevin Biederman, 34, is another man facing charges of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, three counts of money laundering, and one count of bank bribery. He was a business development manager at Philadelphia Credit Union from 2012 to 2016.

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Waltman was a Magisterial District Judge in Bucks County from October 2010 to December 2016. 

Hoopes was the director of public safety in Lower Southampton Township from February to December of 2016, where he had authority over township police, fire, and emergency operations.

From 1998 to 2016, Rafferty was a deputy constable in Bucks County and controlled a corporation called Raff's Consulting LLC. 

The second superseding indictment says from 2014 to 2016 "Waltman and Hoopes solicited, extorted, and attempted to extort bribes and kickbacks from numerous businesses in exchange for Waltman's and Hoopes' influence over Lower Southampton Township's Board of Supervisors, solicitor, officers and employees."

The indictment says the two solicited bribe payments from an outdoor advertising company in exchange for offering their influence to reduce lease payments from the company to Lower Southampton Township. 

In another instance, Waltman, Hoopes and Rafferty allegedly accepted a bribe of $1,000 in exchange to use their positions to "fix" a traffic case, and in another case with the addition of Biederman, they allegedly laundered $400,000 cash represented to be proceeds from health care fraud and illegal drug trafficking.

If each former public official is convicted, each faces a maximum possible sentence of over 100 years in prison. 


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