FBI raids sheriff's office E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

According to an article in USA Today, FBI agents recently searched the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office and seized unspecified files and other records. According to the article, Joe Blake, a spokesman for Sheriff Jewell Williams, said in a statement that agents served search warrants and subpoenas "as part of an ongoing investigation begun in the previous administration" of John Green, who resigned in January 2011 amid corruption allegations and an audit of his department's finances.

Blake would not reveal the nature of the investigation or any details but said sheriff's employees were cooperating.

The Philadelphia Business Journal has reported that several agency computers have been seized.

FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski told Philly.com that agents were at the site for several hours, but would not elaborate.

WPVI-TV, citing unnamed sources, reported that the raid involved unspecified real estate dealings.

According to previous media reports an audit revealed that two companies were paid at least $6.2 million in excess fees over six years. That audit was done 11 months after Green resigned. It also questioned how $135 million from “sheriff sales” was distributed.

After the audit was released, an employee in the sheriff's accounting department was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the office as well as taking bribes for allowing friends to buy properties at sheriff's sale for just 10% of the bid price.

Three other men were also charged after that audit.

Last April, Mayor Michael Nutter filed a civil lawsuit accusing Green, eight others and five companies of diverting millions from sheriff's sales and violating city contracting rules.

The suit seeks to get to the bottom of it all by forcing an accounting of $115 million in sheriff sale proceeds that went to companies owned by Green's associate James Davis.

The figures in this case are eye-popping.

About $20 million more in public funds is still unaccounted for.


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