City Official Caught With His Hand in the Cookie Jar


A city official in Philadelphia has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for an extravagant embezzling spree. Leo Dignam spent decades working for the city government, playing a particularly prominent role in organizing parades and other public events. Dignam also stole $150,000 from city bank accounts to pay for “personal expenses.” Dignam was apparently unaware, however, that his brother Paul Dignam, also a city official, was looting city accounts as well.

Brothers find out they were committing the same crime

The brothers were charged on the same day last year for almost identical crimes, neither apparently having any knowledge of the fact that the other was doing the same thing.

Both brothers had spent decades as employees of the city of Philadelphia; both held prominent roles in overseeing parks and community programs.

These were the accounts the brothers stole from. Leo embezzled $150,000 and Paul $119,000 before being caught. Paul is to be sentenced later in May.

Leo Dignam’s lawyer attempted to convince the judge that Leo, who plead guilty last year, should not receive further punishment after already having lost his job, pension, reputation, and all of the money he stole from the city.

The prosecution and the judge disagreed, pointing out that defendants who steal far less than Dignam and suffer equally disastrous consequences otherwise still routinely receive prison sentences.

The Deputy US Attorney prosecuting Dignam successfully argued that allowing white collar crime like this to go unpunished would undermine public trust in the criminal justice system.

Corrupt city government lives up to reputation

The case hints at the extent of corruption within the city of Philadelphia, which has never enjoyed a great reputation in that regard.

The fact that two brothers working very similar jobs for decades could decide to embezzle from the same accounts with neither having any knowledge about the other speaks to the pervasiveness of corruption in the city.

Following widespread allegations of fraud which occurred in Philadelphia during the 2020 election Democrats and the media rushed to deny the possibility of corruption having any impact on the outcome of the election in Pennsylvania.

If theft and embezzlement is so widespread among city officials that two brothers after decades of city government employment can be charged with the same crime on the same day, having been completely unaware of each other, why should Americans believe in the election results?

Denying the possibility of ballot stuffing by city and election officials in Philadelphia would be insane given what America knows about the record of financial corruption from those same officials.

Philadelphia has a reputation for corruption and fraud which is very well founded clearly. There is nothing unusual about what either Dignam brother did in this case.

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