A Palm Beach Gardens debt-collection magnate is facing accusation for a federal corruption case. It had attempted to bribe three Florida clerks in the courts and a fourth in Chicago. It has finally pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
This deal is bringing in close to the federal corruption case. It has conducted an audit of the dealings of the company. It has further prompted various Florida clerks’ offices to stop employing the company Penn Credit.
Donald Donagher, the founder of Penn Credit, agreed to a plea deal. In it, he attempted an improper donation of $1800 to an awards program.
The federal prosecutors have agreed to drop charges of bribery against him. It involves the Cook County clerk and the clerks of the court in Orange County, Brevard, and St.Jons. A sentencing hearing will take place in January.
As a part of this deal, Penn Credit has agreed to pay a $225000 fine related to a conspiracy charge. Donagher’s attorney said that this delay was a vindication of the founder of the company.
In 2019 the federal prosecutors said that he had tried to bribe the clerks. He had donated to their re-election campaigns and made contributions to their favorite charity.
Prosecutors further said that the payments were made to persuade the clerks to collect the unpaid court fees for their office. But the authorities have agreed to dismiss all the most serious charges. The judge ruled that they could not pursue the charges of bribery related to the campaign of Donagher.
“Mr. Donagher looks forward to finally putting this matter behind him,” said his attorney, Theodore Poulos, “I must emphasize that Mr. Donagher did not plead guilty to bribery. Rather he pleaded guilty to providing an illegal gratuity to the former Cook County Clerk of Court.”
He had close connections with former Palm Beach County Clerk Courts Sharon Bock. The FBI again investigated Bock and her office. They further explore the dealings of Donagjher with the clerks. In 217, bock gave Penn Credit a contract of no-bid to carry on debt-collection work. She used her standing among the clerks of the state to help Penn credit win new contracts.
The CEO of Penn Credit, Tom Foley, said that the company had taken actions since the indictment to change the lobbying practices. It will prevent such kinds of conduct in the future.
“We are pleased to be able to move forward and are thankful that the charges against Penn Credit in Chicago will eventually be dismissed,” he said.