Able Danger Blog

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sklamberg files charges against Caso

That's right, the same Clinton appointee who let Sandy Berger go free with a slap on the wrist has just filed criminal conspiracy charges against Russ Caso, former chief of staff for Curt Weldon. It's with a heavy heart that I have to link to this report:

Ex-Staffer To Weldon Agrees to Guilty Plea

Former congressman Curt Weldon's chief of staff has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges for allegedly helping a consulting firm championed by Weldon obtain federal funds and for concealing money the firm paid his wife, according to court papers filed yesterday.

Russell James Caso Jr. and a top official at the unnamed nonprofit consulting firm met repeatedly with Weldon to seek the Pennsylvania Republican's help in obtaining federal funds for the organization's defense projects, according to the court papers.

The "criminal information," a document filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, could not have been submitted without the defendant's permission. It indicates that a plea agreement has been reached. A federal judge has scheduled a hearing Friday on the charges against Caso.

Federal prosecutors make no accusations of wrongdoing against Weldon, a former 10-term Republican from Pennsylvania. A grand jury last year investigated whether he had acted improperly to help clients of his daughter's consulting firm. The firm named in the court papers filed yesterday is not affiliated with Weldon's daughter.

I obtained a copy of the document from District Court web site and sure enough, the prosecuting attorney is none other than Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard R. Sklamberg.

Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.