SCRANTON ‚?? A federal judge has approved a motion to dismiss one of the charges filed against former state Sen. Raphael Musto, but rejected a motion to dismiss four other counts.
U.S. Middle District Judge A. Richard Caputo agreed with a claim by Musto‚??s attorneys that count five of a superseding indictment violates the statute of limitations and dismissed it. The superseding indictment, filed Oct. 17, alleges Musto accepted $2,000 from a local municipal official in exchange for helping a municipality obtain a total of $12 million in loans from a state agency.
The charges were added to a previous indictment, filed in November 2010, that charged Musto with abusing his position as a state senator by taking money from a local developer.
Musto‚??s attorneys, John Riley and William Murray, argued the offense in the superseding indictment was outside of the five-year statute of limitations because the payment allegedly was made to Musto in 2006.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio acknowledged the payment date falls outside the statute, but argued the offense still falls within the statute of limitations because Musto continued to take action relating to the loan after the payment was made.
Consiglio said the loan, initially for $10 million, was approved by a state agency on which Musto sat on the board in October 2006. The municipality requested another $2 million, which was later approved by the board in 2007. Consiglio said that action in 2007 falls within the statute of limitations, therefore the charge should stand.
Musto was scheduled to go on trial on all the charges on Nov. 26, but the case was continued after Musto‚??s attorneys appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals a pre-trial ruling that denied a request to postpone the trial due to Musto‚??s ill health.