Former Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson has been sentenced to serve 3 ½ years in state prison for accepting $23,500 in bribes. Wilkerson had pleaded guilty to criminal charges of eight counts of attempted extortion last year.
In 2008, she was caught inserting $100 bills in her bra as part of a kickback scam. Wilkerson was accused of taking eight cash payments between 2007 and 2008 from undercover agents and a witness who was secretly working with the FBI. The former state senator was captured on approximately 150 video and audio recordings saying she was going to use some of the money at a casino, as well as to embark upon a sticker campaign in the wake of losing the 2008 Democratic primary.
While prosecutors had pushed for Wilkerson be sentenced to four years in prison, her legal team had argued for less time. The sentence that Wilkerson received is in line with federal sentencing guidelines.
The former state senator, who has been ordered to turn herself in on March 11 so she can start serving her federal prison term, said today that the believes that she was pursued by corrupt federal prosecutors who didn’t like the fact that she was among the politicians that challenged the status quo. Originally, Wilkerson had faced 32 charges of allegedly taking bribes, but the government agreed to drop 24 of the criminal charges. Mail fraud and wire fraud and conspiring to extort cash were among the charges.
Wilkerson sentenced to 3 1/2 years in corruption case, Boston.com, January 6, 2011
Wilkerson guilty of attempted extortion; prosecutors recommend up to 4 years, Boston.com, June 3, 2010
Related Web Resources:
White-Collar Crime, Federal Bureau of Investigation
White-Collar Crime: an overview, Cornell University Law School
Having an experienced Boston white-collar crime lawyer representing you can greatly affect the outcome of your criminal case for the better. Your Massachusetts criminal defense attorney can help win a not guilty verdict or negotiate a successful plea agreement for you. He or she may also be able to get the charges against you dropped or your sentence reduced.