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May 10, 2016

Pa. state Sen. Farnese indicted in alleged vote buying scheme

Indictment says Farnese offered $6,000 bribe to gain support in 2011 ward election in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania State Sen. Larry Farnese was indicted Tuesday and charged in connection with an alleged "vote buying" scheme in which he and an accomplice traded favors in order boost the candidate's political support in Philadelphia, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

The indictment alleges that Farnese, 47, bribed former Eighth Ward Democratic Committee member Ellen Chapman to switch her allegiance in a 2011 election in exchange for a $6,000 payment to a college study-abroad office that would benefit Chapman's daughter.

At the time, Farnese was a Pennsylvania State Senator running for Democratic Ward Leader of the 8th Ward. According to the indictment, the alleged transaction took place during a period from May to December of 2011. Chapman intended to support another candidate until Farnese allegedly used campaign funds to make the $6,000 payment, falsely listing it as a "donation" on the campaign's finance report.

Farnese and Chapman, both of Philadelphia, are charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and violations of the Travel Act.

Farnese, a Pennsylvania Democratic Party Official, currently represents Pennsylvania's first district in the State Senate, including several neighborhoods in Philadelphia.