SCRANTON – Federal prosecutors on Friday responded to a motion filed by former state Sen. Raphael Musto's attorneys that argues two counts of a new indictment were filed past the statute of limitations.
The indictment, filed in Oct. 17, alleges Musto accepted $2,000 from a local municipal official in exchange for helping the 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 abusing his position as a senator by taking money from a local developer.
In seeking to dismiss the new charges, Musto's attorneys, John Riley and William Murray, argue the offense is outside of the five-year statute of limitations because the payment was made to Musto in 2006.
In court documents filed Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio acknowledges the payment was made in 2006, which falls outside the statute. He argues offense still falls within the statute of limitations, however, 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.
The (new) indictment alleged that the defendant was paid not only for his previous official actions but for future official conduct, Consiglio said.
Musto was scheduled to go on trial on all the charges on Nov. 26, but the case was continued after Musto appealed a pre-trial ruling that sought to postpone the trial to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.