Monday, September 30

Shari Copenhaver: Theft by deception

Did Louis Freeh's investigation cross the line into a criminal act?

Shari Copenhaver

Louis Freeh (Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan) charged the Pennsylvania State University $6.5 Million to perform “an independent, full and complete investigation of the recently publicized allegations of sexual abuse ...”  FSS was engaged to serve as independent, external legal counsel “to the Task Force” to perform this investigation.

Others have already stated with specificity the many, erroneous statements, conclusions and “findings” contained in FSS’s report.  In fact, those who have disclosed those facts have done so with far more clarity and truthfulness than anything Freeh produced.  Additional untruthful tidbits from Freeh’s fiction are revealed regularly.

The bottom line is that we now know that the report submitted by Louis Freeh was speculative, at best.  The question is whether or not the errors contained in Freeh’s report were put there with a direct intent to deceive.

Pursuant to the terms of the Engagement Letter, FSS’s findings were to include “i) failures that occurred in the reporting process.”  Why, then, did Freeh omit from his investigation those processes used in 1998 by Dept of Public Welfare, Children & Youth Svcs, University Police, District Attorney’s offices, State College Police and all other agencies involved in the 1998 investigation of Sandusky?  The Scope of Engagement contains no language limiting the investigation of the failures that occurred in the reporting process to failures by Penn State. 

18 Pa.C.S. §3922 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code defines Theft By Deception as follows:

Notably, FSS’s results were to be provided in a written report to the Task Force “and other parties as so directed by the Task Force.”  However, that didn't happen.

When Freeh held his press conference covered by media outlets from all over the world, it appears that he was “directed” to do so by the Task Force.  And it appears the Freeh was also directed by the Task Force to share information with the NCAA.  

Was that very loud disclosure by Freeh intentional?

We know that Freeh obtained property to the tune of at least $6.5 million from Penn State.  Did Freeh “create or reinforce a false impression” by withholding some email communications and releasing select others?  

Did Freeh prevent anyone from “acquiring information which would affect his judgment” when he refused to interview any of the key persons he specifically named as being at fault? 

Did he “fail to correct a false impression which he previously created or reinforced” by failing to put out additional errata sheets when additional information was uncovered by others which clearly contradicts the allegations contained in the initial report?

Freeh’s report has been refuted by additional evidence which was omitted from his report.  Numerous professionals, including experts in the field of child sexual victimization, have also opposed the findings contained in Freeh’s report specifically because those findings are unsupported by the evidence. 

The nagging question is whether or not the falsehoods contained in the report prepared by Louis Freeh of Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan were merely “unintentional error” or “deception by design”.  If it was deceit, then does that deception rise to the level of a crime?  

Certainly, The Pennsylvania State University did not receive a report valued at anywhere near $6.5 million!


  1. Excellent piece, and it says what should be said, Louis Freeh sells "innocence" to the wealthy or influential criminals that pay him. In the case of PSU, the university was misled by their own corrupt BOT to believe the Freeh report would be factual and unbiased and that they should pay the outrageous price of over 8 million dollars for it. It is clear now that the Freeh report is anything but factual, and the university was duped and stolen from by Louis Freeh. The BOT, which is mostly made up of corporate or ex-corporate thugs, naturally sides with Tom Corbett and Louis Freeh in helping to cover the white collar crimes within the PA state government that caused the "PSU" scandal. This scandal is about a steady stream of millions of dollars from Sandusky's Second Mile Charity being laundered through the corrupt Attorney General's office under Tom Corbett. He was Attorney General for 3 terms beginning in 1995 with Sandusky complaints in his office then. Corbett passes the complaints to his DA, Ray Gricar in 1997. Gricar then vanishes into thin air in 2005 after Corbett begins his second term as Att. Gen. Corbett has 2 more terms with Sandusky complaints rolling in and he does nothing. So how is it that Tom Corbett's publicly announced date of awareness for the Sandusky crimes is 2009? A child could see the deception here.

  2. I cannot give legal advice, but "honest services fraud" comes to mind if it is proven that Lying Louie actually conspired with the NCAA and/or certain Trustees to deliver a biased report with predetermined conclusions instead of the impartial investigation for which he was hired. (Freeh is credibly alleged to have done exactly that kind of "work" for BP and Wynn Resorts.) If proven, his co-conspirators could easily face charges as well, and note that the Paterno lawsuit alleges civil conspiracy between the NCAA and Freeh.

    Honest services fraud is what put Mark Ciavarella (kids for cash) in Federal prison.