Fumo friend admits fraud in $287k Pa. contracts

May 25, 2011 7:09:11 AM PDT
A friend of imprisoned former state Sen. Vincent Fumo admits the powerful lawmaker steered him nearly $290,000 in state funds through phony senate contracts.

S. Michael Palermo was a close friend and top aide to Fumo. Fumo, a Philadelphia Democrat, is serving a 55-month sentence for defrauding the senate and two nonprofits of several million dollars.

The 69-year-old Palermo is likely to get five years probation under terms of a plea he entered Wednesday.

Prosecutors say there's no evidence he did any work for the $150-an-hour transportation consulting contracts. Palermo says he did some work but nothing close to the 2,000 hours for which he was paid.

A judge set sentencing for Jan. 22.

Defense lawyer Robert Scandone declined comment.