In Boston, a federal grand jury indicted Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson on eight counts of attempted extortion connected to her acceptance of over $20,000 in cash between June 2007 and October 2008. A federal indictment charged Wilkerson with eight counts of attempted extortion under color of official right.
According to the indictment, Wilkerson allegedly accepted eight payments (a total of $23,500) from a cooperating witness and undercover agents. The indictment is seeking the return of those funds.
The FBI arrested Wilkerson exactly three weeks ago, following an undercover corruption investigation. Bureau and the Boston Police Department Anti-Corruption Unit began the probe after the senator came under suspicion for allegedly accepting illegal payments in connection with her office. Wilkerson was arrested after she was photographed allegedly putting $1,000 in bribes in her bra at a Beacon Hill restaurant.
Investigators say that they have video and audio recordings of Wilkerson accepting bribes from undercover agents. They are also accusing her of pressuring Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston License Board, and City Counsel into delaying legislation on behalf of a local nightclub and allegedly taking bribes in exchange for helping the nightclub secure a liquor license.
The Roxbury Democrat has denied all wrongdoing and has refused to resign even though she was formally rebuked by her colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate and wasn’t re-elected to her seat. Her senate term is over in January.
If convicted, Wilkerson could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release.
White Collar Crimes
If you have been arrested and charged with bribery, extortion, embezzlement, economic espionage, or any other white collar crime, your future, your career, and your family life may all be at stake if you are convicted. There have even been cases when a defendant has been wrongly convicted for white collar crimes committed by others.
Sen. Wilkerson indicted, Boston Herald, November 18, 2008
Sen. Wilkerson indicted on corruption charges, Boston.com, November 18, 2008
State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson Arrested By FBI, WBZ.com, October 28, 2008
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