Fumo lawyers debate restitution

July 8, 2009 4:24:53 PM PDT
Convicted former Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Fumo is in court as lawyers debate how much he stole from the senate and two nonprofits. A federal judge must determine if the long-powerful Philadelphia Democrat owes restitution to the groups.

Prosecutors say the 66-year-old Fumo stole more than $3.5 million from them, and a jury apparently agreed, convicting him on all 137 counts.

Fumo's sentencing is set for next week. A probation report puts his federal sentencing range at 21 to 27 years. However, the judge can go higher or lower.

Arguments over restitution mirror those at the five-month trial that ended in March.

Fumo says staff did personal and political chores only after working full days for the senate or nonprofit. Prosecutors disagree.

Meanwhile, Fumo's lawyers say the sentence prosecutors are seeking for his fraud convictions would mean he will die in prison.

Prosecutors say sentencing guidelines call for 21 to 27 years. Fumo is 66 years old now and his lawyers note he's battling heart problems, diabetes and other health woes.

Prosecutors, though, say Fumo's health problems are hardly exceptional and can be managed in prison.

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