Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Former Philadelphia controller’s office employee gets 22 months jail in bribery scheme

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A former employee of the Philadelphia City Controller’s Office was sentenced in federal court to 22 months in prison for soliciting and taking bribes, and for tax-related crimes, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said.

Jeffrey Blackwell, 47, sought payoffs from customers of a contracting business he ran on the side while he was employed as a deputy director in the controller’s office. Blackwell solicited bribes from at least five people who were seeking permits or contracts from the city, McSwain said.

Blackwell, step-grandson of former City Councilmember Jannie L. Blackwell, pleaded guilty in August to charges of honest services wire fraud, filing a false tax return, and two counts of failure to file a tax return.

He also was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $25,612 in restitution.

“Jeffrey Blackwell figured he’d boost his city salary by taking bribes and kickbacks on the side,” Michael J. Driscoll, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, said in a statement. “In doing so, he undermined the mission and integrity of the controller’s office where he worked and deprived Philadelphians of the honest government services they deserve.”

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