PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Leslie Acosta, former Pennsylvania State Representative and former employee of the Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic, was sentenced today to seven months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Joel H. Slomsky. Acosta was also ordered to pay $623,000 in restitution.
Acosta had previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charge arose out of Acosta’s agreement to cash unearned checks from the Clinic and give the cash to Renee Tartaglione, who at the time was President of the Board of Directors of the Clinic. Acosta agreed to cooperate with the government in its investigation of Tartaglione and testified at Tartaglione’s federal criminal trial in 2017.
“Today’s sentence recognizes the need to punish those who help others steal money from nonprofit corporations,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “It reinforces the important principle that nonprofit organizations, especially those that provide services to the disadvantaged, exist for the people they serve and not for the personal enrichment of their leaders. Our office will continue to aggressively pursue those who participate in schemes to steal from nonprofits.”
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bea L. Witzleben and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Peter Halpern.