Posted by Brennan Smith.
A judge, a deputy constable, and a supervisor of all police, fire, and emergency operations walk into a bar…
Although a common play on the setup of a hysterical joke, the indictment of John I. Waltman, Robert P. Hoopes, and Bernard T. Rafferty is not something the members of Bucks County and Lower Southampton Township are laughing about. The three men named are the judge, supervisor, and deputy constable—respectively—referenced above, who just got indicted for money laundering.
Here’s what happened: “The trio conspired to launder about $400,000 in funds represented by investigators to be the proceeds of health care fraud, illegal drug trafficking and bank fraud, according to a federal court indictment unsealed Friday morning, a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The men allegedly took laundering fees of $80,000,” (theintell.com). In order to launder the money, the trio went through a series of processes. One source of revenue, and by far the most prominent one, was through Raff’s Consulting LLC—a company with which Rafferty had full control—with which the three used “bogus documents” in order to turn a profit.
To understand how they did this, the facts of the case must be examined. Per the research done by theintell.com, Robert P. Hoopes would arrive to an office building in an unmarked Lower Southampton Township Police car, exchange the false documents for $100,000 cash, and bring the money back to the car (where John I. Waltman and Bernard T. Rafferty would be waiting). From there, Waltman and Rafferty would go to the Philadelphia Credit Union to deposit the money—after paying Hoopes and pocketing their own cuts—into the Raff’s Consulting LLC accounts. The operation lasted from June 2015 to November of 2016 with the trio laundering $400,000 between June and August of 2016—earning $80,000 in laundering fees (Philadelphia.cbslocal.com).
Because of their crimes, the FBI was forced to get involved and finally caught them in an undercover sting. The three will each face one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering. District Judge John I. Waltman has been suspended without pay, with the other two removed from their positions.
Brennan is a sports management and marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.