Former Pa. Treasurer Barbara Hafer pleads guilty in federal court

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Barbara Hafer

HARRISBURG, Pa.–Former state Treasurer Barbara Hafer plead guilty Friday in federal court to lying to the FBI during their play-to-play investigation of Pennsylvania state government.

Hafer, 73, was charged last year along with one of her campaign donors, Richard Ireland. She had been charged with two counts of making false statements and was scheduled to go on trial next week. On Friday, Hafer plead guilty to one count before U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III.

The maximum penalty for that offense is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“Lying to federal agents is a serious crime and the United States Attorney’s Office treats these offenses accordingly,”stated United States Attorney Brandler.

According to Brandler, Hafer was interviewed by federal law enforcement agents in May 2016, regarding her relationship with Ireland, an individual that had financial relationships with businesses that provided asset management services to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department while Hafer served as Treasurer.

After leaving office, Hafer operated a consulting firm known as Hafer and Associates, LLC, that entered into a contract with a business associated with Ireland. During Hafer’s interview, she denied receiving any money from Ireland or any businesses he was associated with and denied receiving any help from Ireland or any businesses he was associated with in connection with her operation of Hafer and Associates.

Hafer admitted Friday that she lied to the federal agents during that interview because Ireland helped Hafer’s consulting business by causing $675,000 to be paid to Hafer and Associates between 2005 and 2007, an amount that was a substantial portion of Hafer and Associates’ revenue during that time period.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

Ireland was on trial in Mach, but Judge Jones dismissed all charges against him. Ireland had been accused of attempting to bribe former Treasurer Rob McCord, with campaign contributions in return for government contracts.