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November 30, 2015

Former Allentown Asst. City Solicitor to plead guilty to fraud charges

Government Fraud
06252015_Gavel Brian Turner/Wikimedia Commons


The United States Attorney's Office announced Monday that the former Assistant City Solicitor of Allentown is currently in hearings where he is expected to plead guilty to charges of fraud tied to a tax collection scheme. 

According to the attorney's office, Dale Wiles has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud due to his involvement in a scheme that was set into motion in August 2013. 

At that time, the attorney's office notes, Wiles was put in charge of handling the selection of a new vendor who would handle the collection of delinquent real estate taxes and other municipal claims. 

An initial review of two law firms, as well as a third law firm that partnered with a tax revenue company, the district attorney's office said, found that one of the law firms would have been the best choice for Allentown. 

However, the attorney's office said that Wiles, along with other elected officials, determined that the third law firm, which had partnered with the tax revenue company, should get the real estate tax contract as members of that partnership had donated to the campaigns of the elected officials involved. 

Monday's filing does not include the names of the public officials involved in this scheme, nor does it name the law firms or tax revenue company involved. 

According to the court document, the attorney's office believes, in January and February of last year, that Wiles, along with other unnamed elected officials, devised a plan to ensure the real estate tax collection work was handed to the partnership that had been supportive of the elected officials' campaigns.

Allentown's City Hall was raided by the FBI in July, and according to the attorney's office, at that time and again in October, Wiles and others, kept facts about this scheme from agents of the FBI as well as from a grand jury investigating the incident. 

According to the attorney's office, guilty plea hearings for Wiles are currently underway.