Tuesday, June 12

No Coincidence, Part 3: The "Luck" of The Second Mile

It wasn't a matter of luck directors and officers of The Second Mile charity managed to escape the Sandusky scandal unscathed.  The evidence shows that protecting the charity was a matter of self-interest for prosecutors, the police, and politicians.

Ray Blehar
June 12, 2018, 8:30 PM EDT

In Part 2 of this series, notpsu.blogspot.com provided incontrovertible evidence that former Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigators were avoiding The Second Mile (TSM) charity like it was the plague.  That evidence, predominately from the Moulton Report, clearly revealed that investigators didn't approach the charity, referred to by prosecutors as Sandusky's "victim factory," until January 2011.

Corbett played fast and loose with
the facts from the Moulton Report
Regardless, Corbett continued to insist that Sandusky's charity had no influence on the delay in arresting Sandusky.

In late 2017, the former one-term Governor told the Washington Post:

“The Second Mile had no influence on that investigation whatsoever, and there’s no evidence that they did.  But [Penn State alumni] won't accept that, will they?"

Facts are stubborn things and Corbett and the media have played fast and loose with the facts all along, especially those from the Moulton and Freeh Reports.

The truth was that the Moulton Report specifically concluded that there was no "direct evidence that electoral politics influenced any significant or important decision made in the Sandusky investigation."   However, that finding does not address other possible influences regarding TSM nor does it say that politics in general didn't play a role in decisions about the Sandusky investigation.

It also doesn't address rather convincing circumstantial evidence tbat Corbett delayed action on the Sandusky investigation until after he was elected.  Does anyone really believe that the anonymous email tip about Mike McQueary -- sent the day after Corbett was elected -- was just a coincidence?

As the following evidence reveals, self-interest and political interests were a key factor in delaying the Sandusky investigation and avoiding implicating TSM.

What Child Endangerment Really Looks Like

In order to get to the bottom of the Sandusky scandal, you have to get past the nuclear blast that was set off by prosecutors in the form of the November 2011 grand jury presentment's sensationally false version of the 2001 incident.

The sensationally false story made Penn State University (PSU)  ground zero in order to deflect attention away from the tragic blunders made by many others, including but not limited to,  the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Centre and Clinton County Children and Youth Services, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Office of Attorney General (OAG).

The OAG and the Harrisburg Patriot News withheld and falsified information about the 1998 and 2001 incidents to paint PSU officials in the worst manner possible. That information drove the moral outrage that diverted the public's attention completely away from TSM and others.

The overblown 2001 incident overshadowed the TSM board's 2009 decision to keep parents of participants in the dark about Sandusky and make no real effort to prevent his contact with children -- all the while knowing he was under investigation for child abuse. 

That is the very definition of child endangerment.

As a result of TSM's decision, parents unwittingly allowed their children to be around a suspected child molester up until the time Sandusky publicly resigned from the charity in September 2010.

While TSM officials publicly stated that Sandusky had been separated from all programs involving children after he was indicated for child abuse, there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary that the he was contacting children while under criminal investigation in 2009 and 2010.   Sandusky was present at The Second Mile's 2010 Summer Challenge camp and various media outlets reported his starring role at other local events involving children.

All of that evidence was ignored by the OAG and the Patriot News, who only pointed the finger at PSU regarding child endangerment and enabling Sandusky's victimization of children.   But the facts show that not only was TSM endangering children from 2009 to 2011, but so were the PSP and the OAG.

When ABC's Chris Coumo confronted Supervisory Agent Randy Feathers and alleged that the lag in the investigation put children in harm's way, Feathers responded: "It's not a perfect world."

Seemingly in order to take the OAG and the PSP off the hook,  prosecutor Frank Fina labeled one civil claimant (D.F.) who alleged abuse in 2008 and beyond as not credible, even though he successfully prosecuted Sandusky on similar, but less credible allegations raised by Victim 10.   Unlike others who have raised doubts about the credibility of civil claimants, Fina received no blow back from the media by questioning the veracity of the claim.

Fina also went as far as amending dates on the Bill of Particulars for Victim 9 in order to ensure that neither the government, including Clinton County Children and Youth Services, nor TSM could be blamed for endangering children during the prolonged investigation. 

The Patriot News allied with Fina by backtracking on its story that Victim 9 had been abused up through the summer of 2009.

It's easy to understand that Fina was taking himself, the OAG, and the police off the hook for abuse that occurred while the investigation lagged...

...but why was the Patriot News riding shotgun on the Commonwealth's cover-up?

What A Cover-Up Really Looks Like

Corman (4th from right) breaks ground with former TSM chair Bob Poole (2nd from right)
If you want to see what a cover up looks like, don't waste your time looking on the PSU campus.  Just visit the archives of the Patriot News.

June 13, 2012 column by the Patriot News contained a knowingly false statement regarding when Senator Jake Corman became involved as a Director of TSM charity.

"Corman, who joined the charity’s state board in 2010, said seeing its programs continue under Arrow is a positive for those who invested 30 years of their time and money in The Second Mile. Until last year, this was a well-regarded charity that served 10,000 Pennsylvania youths annually and many of them had a good experience from it."

The Patriot News won a Pulitzer prize for its coverage of the scandal and submitted a November 16, 2011 story titled "One Big Family" as part of its nomination package.  That story involved extensive reviews of the charity's financial records and annual reports.

Reporters Sara Ganim, Don Gilliland, and Jeff Franz concluded that PSU and TSM were "one big family" by citing donations to the charity from family members of then Board of Trustee member Steve Garban and former trustees Lloyd Huck, and Bill Schreyer.  The story also cited a handful of  rather small, one-time donations from the PSU Altoona and Erie campuses and the Milton Hershey Medical Center as supporting evidence.  Meanwhile, they ignored much larger donations from PSU graduates who were distinguished alumni and member of TSM's board -- like Bob Poole and Ric Struthers.  Poole and Struthers were also significant fund raisers for PSU.

While the reporters were able to selectively dig and find selected small donations among the fine print of the annual reports, by some lucky coincidence they didn't take note of  Jake Corman's name at the top of the 2009 State Board of Director's list (below).

They also apparently failed to take note of it on the charity's IRS 2008 990 form (for the year ending August 31, 2009).

In August 2012, after the narrative of a PSU cover-up had been locked into the minds of the public, the Patriot News finally decided to report on the decisions made by the charity in 2001 and 2009.

Pulitzer prize winner Sara Ganim wrote that the charity  "decided to stay silent" about Sandusky's child abuse investigation after a heated debate during a late 2009 board meeting.   Ganim and the Patriot News, however, whiffed on reporting any of the aforementioned instances of Sandusky's involvement of children while under investigation.

In the real world, deciding "to stay silent" is the same thing as a cover-up.

The Patriot News falsely reporting that Senator Jake Corman wasn't a member of the board when the 2009 decision was made is a cover-up too.

And unlike other Directors at the charity, who walked away from it after learning of the Sandusky abuse investigation, Corman stayed on board and tried to keep the charity afloat.

"What did they know? When did they know it?"

Given all of the questions surrounding Sandusky's charity, on November 14, 2011 then Vice-Chairman David Woodle announced that the charity retained former Philly DA Lynne Abraham to conduct an internal review.  Abraham announced her hiring with considerable fanfare:

"We will be looking into who knew.  What did they know? When did they know it? And what did they do? Sandusky certainly let this happen. Some people were aware. Who were they, and why didn't they act in an appropriate fashion by informing the police?"


"We need to find out how deep this went, who knew about it, when did they find out about it and what was done or not done.  How was it possible for little kids to be imperiled and we didn't know it?"

About one week later, the charity issued a statement that it was "doing everything in our power to investigate and understand what happened."

The probe silently ended in May 2012, without producing a report.  A spokesman for Abraham stated that she withdrew from the probe just weeks after it was announced because the charity determined it had no viable future

Media reports in early August 2012 stated the investigation had ended because the charity was shutting down and transferring its assets.   At that time, Woodle changed his story, stating that Abraham's review was intended to determine if the charity could survive the scandal, not if there was wrongdoing at the charity 

Corman, who was a visible member of the board, was quoted many times during the alleged Abraham probe as saying that he hoped for answers from the internal report.  However, when the end of the probe was announced, he said he must have misunderstood its purpose:
"Maybe that's just my misunderstanding.  Maybe because the organization is clearly not going to continue, maybe that sort of review isn't necessary. I'm not on the board anymore, so I guess I don't have a lot of standing.
Abraham's investigation went away without a whimper.

When pressed by ABC27's Dennis Owens about investigating TSM, AG Josh Shapiro refused to comment. except for the Commonwealth letting the charity fold up and transfer its assets to Arrow Ministries.

Corman whole heartily endorsed the transfer of programs to Arrow, stating that the charity "has a very important mission and one that will keep those programs alive."

How important was TSM?

Experts said its programs were "low value" and "low dose," however the charity certainly seemed to be a "pet rock" of quite a few politicians.

A Pet Rock, Part 1

Part 2 of the series reported that Corbett and the Centre County commissioners approved $3 million each in grants for TSM's Center of Excellence  (CoE).   The former AG and Governor received considerable heat from the press for approving the grant while knowing that Sandusky was under investigation.

When questioned about the bad optics of approving the grant, Corbett responded (my emphasis added):

“Yes I knew this but I could not act public on this without saying certain things that would have possibly compromised the investigation.”  He further elaborated, “I already knew Mr. Sandusky had nothing to do with the Second Mile. I believe that the purposes of the Second Mile were very good purposes in general."

Then-Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Jim Burn responded:“It doesn’t pass the smell test.”

No it doesn't.  And the grant for the CoE was not the only questionable grant in this scandal.

The CoE was going to be a  45,000 square foot building that resembled a luxury hotel and would contain administrative offices, classrooms, a gymnasium, strength and conditioning locker rooms (of course), a commercial kitchen and (cough) dormitory facilities. The initial cost estimate for phase one was $11.5 million with additional  phases over several years bringing the total cost to $35 million.

The CoE was to be built on a parcel of land at the intersection of Fox Hollow and Bernel Roads, near the University Park airport.  The location would provide easy access for well-heeled donors to fly in to (cough) help the children.

Many prosecutors contend that too many coincidences are bad luck for criminal defendants.

In this case, seemingly no amount of coincidences were back luck for TSM officials.

The Airplane

In August 2012 radaronline.com reported that a witness with ties to a Penn State University (PSU) booster allegedly saw the booster and Sandusky molesting children on an airplane.   According to a witness interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on a related matter, the Bureau confirmed multiple children were molested.  Unless I missed a clipping, Pulitzer prize winner Sara Ganim and the Harrisburg Patriot News, who got scoop after scoop in their scandal coverage, completely whiffed on this story.

So who are the PSU athletics boosters with ties to Jerry Sandusky who also own an airplane?

Ira Lubert is at the top of the list.

Lubert served many years on the PSU Board of Trustees and recently stepped down as chair.  He is a millionaire many times over with real estate development/investment among his specialties.  A former collegiate wrestler at PSU, Lubert offered University officials the use of his private jet in the wooing of Cael Sanderson to become the Nittany Lions' wrestling coach. He recently contributed $5 million to PSU Athletics among many donations he's made over the years.

He also has considerable ties to political figures in the Keystone state, including former Governor Ed Rendell.   Lubert donated $140,980 to Rendell's gubernatorial campaigns and the Valley Forge Casino license, of which he was a partner,  was approved in 2009 by the gaming commission under Rendell.

Author Matt Birkbeck wrote that the casino licensing process was rigged and that Rendell's chief of staff, John Estey, directed the commission regarding who should get approved.  Estey would later be stung by Federal officials in a pay-to-play scandal.

Lubert's ties to TSM were also well known, although he attempted to deny that he was on the charity's South East Regional Board when confronted with allegations of a conflict of interest when he ran for PSU BOT chair in 2016.

He told the Centre Daily Times (CDT) that he never attended any meetings of the charity.  Very interesting, considering that records reveal that TSM's regional office was in the same office complex as the casino property.

He also told the CDT his name was erroneously included on the charity's annual report and he asked them to remove it.  The problem with Lubert's story is that his name was on the charity's reports from 2005 to 2009.  2009 was the year that the charity learned that Sandusky was under investigation.

The charity's records show Lubert contributed over $50,000 for the year ending August 31, 2001 but no monetary contributions after that.   Lubert denied that he allowed TSM to use the Green Hills facility for its Summer Challenge camp.   In 2017, The Washington Post confirmed the he was indeed part of the ownership group of that facility.

Were Lubert's denials simply because of the perceptions of a conflict of interest or was there more to the story?

Lubert wasn't the only TSM Director that owned an airplane.

Two other former TSM Directors, Bruce Heim and Lance Shaner,  who were also well known PSU Boosters also co-owned a private airplane.  It was licensed as Charlie Brown Air -- named after the comic strip depicting children.   Good grief.

Heim (left) and Shaner (right) pictured at an Easter Seals event owned Charlie Brown Air 

Neither man has an undergraduate degree from PSU (Heim holds an MBA)  however both are well established as boosters of the University's athletics department.   Shaner received the Renaissance Award from PSU in 2010.  The University's press release stated:

"As a philanthropist, he has made gifts to the Renaissance Fund for many years and is a champion of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, serving as a member of its campaign committee during the University's Grand Destiny capital campaign. He recently created a Penn State World Campus scholarship for members of the military, in honor of his great-great-grandfather, Samuel, who served during the Civil War. He has supported the construction or renovation of facilities on the University Park campus, including Rec Hall, the University Libraries and the Bryce Jordan Center; as well as several buildings in the State College area, such as the Easter Seals Child Development Center, the expansion of the YMCA, Mount Nittany Hospital, and The Second Mile's Center for Excellence."

Shaner's business concerns include natural gas/energy, hospitality management, and real estate investment.  He is an Honorary Professor at the PSU Hotel School.  Shaner was also a notable Pennsylvania Republican Party donor whose name was placed on GOP headquarters in Harrisburg in 2010.   According to Deadspin.com, he donated $155,000 to Corbett's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

When TSM was floundering in the aftershocks of the Sandusky scandal, Shaner wrote a letter to the charity that demanded return of his donations for the Cof E.   Aside from the normal tax deduction was there some other benefit Shaner was expecting to get out of the deal?

He also has the unfortunate coincidence to be associated with two children's charities that were rocked by child sex scandals.  In 2013, news broke that Paul Newman's Hole In the Wall Gang, a charity for seriously ill children, had received reports of child sexual victimization in 2002 and failed to act on them.   Shaner was recognized by the charity in 2007 for supporting its fund raising golf tournament for over a decade.

Those coincidences might spell trouble for most people.  They didn't for Shaner.

His airplane owning partner, Bruce Heim, is a West Point graduate and a very well known PSU athletic booster who was involved in the charity's 2001 decision to not report Sandusky to the authorities. Despite Heim's role in the 2001 decision the University took his money in 2014 and named one of his companies, The Apartment Store, as the official sponsor of the Penn State football student section.

He is a well known real estate developer in Centre County, founding Keystone Real Estate and Hospitality Asset Management Company (HAMCO) among other business concerns.  Heim owns the property and his real estate company shares the space at 444 East College Avenue with the PA OAG.

The PA OAG shares office space with Heim.

When PSU invited Heim to participate in a ceremonial coin toss before the PSU-Army football game in 2015, alumni raised concerns about the optics.  He pushed back against the outcry, going public with a statement to defend the 2001 decision:

“Jerry in my presence, in the presence of coaches, in the presence of the football team on several occasions had gone in and showered with kids. I said every day at the YMCA men shower with kids.”

Unlike Shaner, Heim has no known relationships with other children's charities that were beset with sex scandals.  He does, however, have a track record of promoting physical activities between adults and children.

According to trial testimony given by Mandy Musser on June 12, 2012, in 2004 or 2005 she was instructed to provide the key to the fitness center and pool area of HAMCO's  Hilton Garden Inn for Sandusky to use with children from TSM.  She ordered her staff to do the same.  That is the same Hilton Garden Inn cited by the OAG as one of the locations used by Sandusky to molest Victim 9.

As rumors circled in 2013 about an ongoing Federal investigation, Heim confided to some business associates that he was feeling the heat.   He and Shaner divested themselves of Charlie Brown Air shortly after TSM officially folded.

As "luck" would have it, allegations related to abuse on an airplane didn't surface at the Sandusky trial nor did they surface in any of the allegations arising from the settlement process conducted at PSU.  Ganim and the Patriot News also never mentioned the airplane allegations.

But airplanes weren't really necessary for adult TSM members to have private contacts with children.  The charity made it easy for them to do that through its programs.

Friend Fitness

Friend Fitness is among the programs that was transferred to Arrow Ministries.

Jerry Sandusky utilized that program to legitimize his workouts (a.k.a., grooming activities) with victims.   Apparently, it is just another lucky coincidence that no one breathed a word about the Friend Fitness program at his trial.

On the first day of his trial, the charity's program director, Mark McCann testified (for the prosecution) that Sandusky was operating outside the charity's guidelines by establishing specialized programs for the purpose of contacting young men he was mentoring. McCann didn't bring up the Friend Fitness program in his testimony.  Had he done so, that would have undermined the government's preferred narrative that Sandusky was a "rogue" member of the charity who operated outside the charity's (non-existent) guidelines. 

When it came time for cross-examination, attorney Joseph Amendola not only didn't bring up the fact that Sandusky was using a sanctioned program, Friend Fitness, when contacting children --  he didn't cross-examine McCann at all.

Amendola is not an incompetent attorney.  He successfully defended former PSU running back Austin Scott against rape allegations resulting in prosecutors dropping the charges.   Al Lindsay, Sandusky's appeal attorney -- who contends that Amendola was incompetent -- didn't bring up the Amendola's Friend Fitness blunder either.

The most logical reason for the willful blindness of all involved, and especially the prosecutors, is that they knew that the Friend Fitness progarm had the potential to open a can of worms for not only for TSM Directors but for a lot of other people.

Heim and former Director, Mike Sullivan were among the charity's advocates of this (high-risk) program that paired an adult and child for unsupervised one-on-one workouts.  Current alumni-elected PSU trustee and former Heim business partner Ryan McCombie also participated in the program.

According to his own statements, Heim witnessed Sandusky showering with children after the workouts and, as a Director, didn't tell Sandusky it was inappropriate.

Sullivan was the program's coordinator in 2011, however, it is not known if he was aware of Sandusky's showering ritual.

Sullivan, like Heim, confided to a business associate that he too was feeling the heat of the ongoing Federal investigation in 2013.

The charity's document storage and destruction program was conducted by Sullivan, the owner of Automated Records Centre (ARC).   According to a publication from ARC, Sullivan and the charity were well aware of the rules regarding destruction of materials that may be subject to litigation.

In July 2011, TSM faced a contempt charge for failure to turn over documents subpoenaed in January of that year.

According to the Moulton Report, representatives of TSM and of the facility storing its records had testified that the records in question were missing and could not be found. 

The OAG's motion for contempt was based chiefly on the argument that not enough effort had been made to find the records from the years 2000 to 2003. At a September 7, 2011 hearing, Eshbach and an attorney for charity reported that they had resolved the matter with an agreed-upon plan for a more extensive search.   

In the end, some but not all of the missing records were recovered and turned over to OAG.   Charity officials were not charged with obstruction of justice for their failure to turn over documents.

Pet Rock, Part 2

TSM's Bruce Heim became a mentor of sorts to Mark Mintzer and helped establish a Friend Fitness program at the Upper Main Line (UMLY) YMCA outside Philadelphia.  According to TSM's 2000 Annual Report for the year ending 8/31/2001, the Friend Fitness program opened in Chester County and provided services to "8 youngsters and trained 10 mentors."

Corbett formerly chaired the PCCD
That program was funded, in part, by a research grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).  Tom Corbett chaired the PCCD at the time of the program was established.

It's current Board includes AG Josh Shapiro and former Pennylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)  Director,  Delilah Rumburg.  Among other things, the PCCD is in charge of distributing funds to support programs for survivors of sexual abuse.
It was/is responsible for allocating the $60 million in fines paid by PSU as a result of the NCAA sanctions.

As a result of Heim's mentoring and the PCCD's endorsement, the same ill-advised one-on-one adult and child situations have now been spread to organizations in the Philadelphia suburbs and who knows where else.

Is it just luck or a coincidence that Corbett, Shapiro, PCAR, the OAG, and the Harrisburg Patriot News have never made a single peep about this potentially dangerous program being allowed to continue in Pennsylvania -- and outside the state's borders?

Interestingly, when the Chester County District Attorney's office held a seminar at the UMLY on child sexual abuse in the immediate aftermath of the Sandusky charges, only 35 parents attended.

Friend Fitness: "a lot of unnecessary touching"
In October 2012, Andrea Boyles, Chief Executive Officer of  the Centre County Youth Service Bureau (YSB)  stated she would be happy to pick up the Friend Fitness and Friend programs and called the programs “incredibly beneficial.”  

An individual who observed a Friend Fitness workout at a local State College gym told a former member of the Centre County District Attorney's office that the session was uncomfortable to watch because there was "a lot of unnecessary touching going on between the adults and kids under the guise of athletic training."

The latter begs the question -- was this program set up to benefit children or adults?

And is it really that hard to believe that a children's charity started by a serial child molester was set up for the purpose of serving himself and others of a similar ilk?

TSM's Low Value, Low Dose Programs

Just how important were TSM's programs to Pennsylvania's children and families?

Internationally recognized child welfare expert Richard Gelles opined that TSM's demise "would not leave much of a hole" and that their programs were "low dose."

TSM's calculations of children served included any child that received one of the charity's Nittany Lion Tips cards or watched a PEAK video.  The cards were routinely handed out in public schools and the videos were also shown in schools.

Similarly, directors of county child welfare organizations weighed in that their agencies had very little interactions with the charity or that the actions were of low value.

In an March 2012 interview, the aforementioned Boyles, who seemed eager to take on the Friend Fitness program,  stated that TSM's funding per child ratio for direct services was higher than similar programs run by other charities.  She cited those reasons for the YSB's non-adoption of the charity's programs.

While the charity held a state license for foster care services, audits revealed that it had provided no services for foster care since 1998.  Instead of providing placement services, it held events such as trips to amusement parks, minor league baseball games, and picnics for foster families.

Anne Bale, spokeswoman for the welfare department, said the charity maintained its license "to help them fund raise."  

If there was one thing that TSM was good at, it was fundraising.  The charity reported revenues between $1 and $3.2 million each year from 1999 to 2009 according to their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings.

What the charity was not so good at, however, was keeping track of the money.

Financial Questions

As notpsu.blogspot.com reported in 2012, TSM's financial statements and annual reports revealed discrepancies between revenues and expenses, as well as rapidly escalating salaries after 1998 for its Executive Director, Dr. Jack Raykovitz and his wife and Vice President for Development, Katherine Genovese.  The series of reports, titled "Second Mile's Financial Statements Don't Add Up," also noted the inconsistencies in reporting disclosures from year to year that made it difficult to figure out the financial situation of the charity.

Before delving into the numbers, it's important to remember that in 1998, The Second Mile was essentially a Central Pennsylvania charity with offices in State College and Harrisburg.  That year, the charity reported it had 11,816 total donors.

After Sandusky retired from PSU in 1999, it began growing and expanded into the Southeastern region.  It received free advertising and marketing from a December 1999 Sports Illustrated feature on Jerry's work with the charity. It isn't a stretch at all to think the number of total donors grew considerably after Sandusky threw himself into promoting the charity on a full-time basis.

The chart below depicts the number of high dollar ($500 or more) donors at varying ranges of contribution and shows a growing number of high dollar nearly every year.

The chart below shows that revenues reported to the IRS compared to estimates of the minimum and maximum amount donated based on the charity's Angel Donor lists in its annual reports.

The analysis reveals the charity under-reported its total revenue reported to the IRS by $1.33 million as compared to the minimum amount from its Angel Donor lists.

That is a big problem for two reasons:
1) many people donated more than the minimum level -- meaning the actual amount of revenue received had to be much higher; and,
2) donations under $500 (approximately 11,000 or more small donations per year) went unreported.

A very conservative estimate using an average donation of $25 per small donation equates to $275,000  per year going unreported.  That's a total of $3.025 million under reported over the eleven periods reviewed.

Based on the above analysis this is appears to be a slam dunk case of charities fraud.

Dr. Jack Raykovitz, the Executive Director, signed the charity's tax returns while his wife, Katherine Genovese, was the head of fund raising.  That in itself should have been a big red flag of poor internal controls to any auditor and should never have been allowed by the charity's Board of Directors or its financial oversight committee.

Cliff Benson, who was named to the PSU Board of Trustees by Tom Corbett and served from 2014 through 2016, joined the charity in 2009 and oversaw its finances.

 According to former TSM Executive Director David Woodle (emphasis added):

Benson, who Corbett appointed to the PSU
BOT, oversaw the charity's financial controls
"Mr. Benson was a volunteer member of the State Board of Directors in the same role as all other directors."  Benson "had general oversight review of the organizational finances... That would include tasks such as finance statement review and coordination with outside audit firms"
Benson was a business partner of Heim at AGSM, a private equity and investment firm focused on acquiring or investing in small to medium ($0.5 to $50 million revenue) privately held companies.

In all fairness to Benson, the problems with the charity's books and financial disclosures predated him.  However, the husband and wife team of Raykovitz and Genovese continued to hold the books and handle the money under his watch.

That should have been stopped cold by Benson.

As shown earlier, the financial statements had considerable problems as well under Benson's oversight.

In order to make an case air-tight against Raykovitz, Genovese, and others, Federal investigators would have needed to obtain and review all of the charity's donation records to determine exactly how much money had gone missing. 

Alternatively, investigators could comb through every individual tax return of the Angel Donors for those eleven (or twelve) periods to get some idea of the actual sum of the large donations.   Given that TSM had difficulty keeping track of its records, it's likely the Feds were left with no choice but to go with the time consuming process of combing through individual tax returns.

On May 16, 2016, when questioned about the status of TSM investigation, Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, told reporters, "We have no comment."    

Meanwhile, the same office told PSU alumnus Ryan Bagwell that it closed the investigation in 2014.

Bagwell learned there were over 300,000 documents pertaining to the case but only a little over 1,000 were provided to him.  He stated, the Feds "withheld tens of thousands more for reasons not apparent at this time."

While notpsu.blogspot.com can speculate that many of the withheld documents could be the aforementioned tax returns, it remains a mystery that Federal investigators, who revealed there were pending charges in 2013 over the charity's "cars for kids" program, never followed through on charging anyone.

One can only imagine the field day the media would have upon finding out that a charity that received $3 million in grants from the state government was pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars every year and used some of the donations to purchase cars.  

It's not a stretch to believe that there was considerable political pressure and, perhaps some coercion involved, to get the Feds to back off of TSM.   The Gansler Report (pages 28, 29, and 33) revealed employees from the US Department of Justice and FBI (aka, the Feds) were among those who were receiving "porngate"emails from the so-called "high volume" senders.

A column by former U.S. Attorney Peter Vaira opined that the exchange of pornographic and racist materials between the OAG and judges was an effort to compromise the courts.  While Vaira did not address emails between the OAG and the Feds, they would have the same effect. 

Were the Feds who were investigating TSM back in 2011 through 2014 recipients of OAG porn emails?   It's a good bet that they were, but we don't know that right now because former AG Bruce Beemer  redacted all the names in the Gansler Report.   

Meanwhile, Shapiro's OAG is fighting legal action to force public disclosure of the full (un-redacted) emails.   

Last Chance?

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale plans to look into TSM and, perhaps, his investigation may be the last chance for a government official to reveal the connection between the charity and Pennsylvania politicians.  In May 2016, DePasquale stated that investigating the 2011-2012 Center of Excellence grant was on his agenda and he wanted to understand how and why the grant was awarded.  

"I want to make sure the taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck on job creation and community benefit.  I want to know, how did it stack up?”

TSM's progams were considered "low value" and "low dose" by experts and those who work in the trenches and The Center of Excellence grant shouldn't stack up very well.  It remains to be seen if DePasquale's review of the grant will lead to informing the public about what was really going on at the "victim factory" and why the charity was untouchable.


  1. I'll start, indirect evidence regarding Corbett's mischief..........$640,000!

    1. David,
      Thanks for your comment.

      That $640,000 figure is a bit inflated. Reporters arrived at that number by (at the time) citing past and present members of TSM, family members, and associated businesses.

      Of the $200K in TSM contributions to his 2010 campaign, $155K came from Lance Shaner. However, that contribution is paltry considering that Corbett received $6M (million) from the Republican Governor's Association.

      I don't believe donations were what swayed Corbett away from TSM. For me, it's one of two things: 1) Corbett was aware the charity was a financial fraud and would have suffered embarrassment over awarding it a $3M grant; or 2) The charity was involved in sex trafficking of children to politicians and judges.

  2. Also Ira had gone on national TV while going into a meeting and stated that there were sex tapes of JS and kids which was a lie. I hope that one day they all will get pay for what evil they have done.... they all are evil disgusting human beings...

    1. Katrina,
      Thanks for your comment.

      I had heard of this rumored sex tape, but I have no information that Ira Lubert talked about it on national television.

      Bruce Heim is the person who floated the idea that this sex tape existed and that Ira Lubert had a copy of it. The story is just too crazy to be believed and I never put any stock in it from the beginning.

  3. PSU should have promptly sued Second Mile and stopped any transfer of assets. The few millions Second Mile did have should have gone to PSU as their share of the settlements with all the Second Mile boys. Just one example of PSU Trustees failing in their fiduciary duties to PSU in order to protect themselves and their Second Mile Board buddies.

    There was talk about PSU suing Second Mile trying to get money through their insurance company. Has that gone anywhere?

    1. Tim,
      Thanks for your comments.

      PSU filed a civil action against TSM to recover money on the day before the statute of limitations expired. It is likely that whatever PSU gets out of the settlement will come from TSM's insurer (and they'll accept a pittance, rather than trying to recover what is really owed).

  4. Your commentary is based upon the assumption that JS actually abused those boys. Based upon the enormity of data which suggests otherwise, I reject that assumption.

    If you think that JS abused V9, you have been sniffing too much glue. A varsity tight end who sat next to JS with a friend at the 2011 Illinois game. That does not compute. More likely a call from his father stating that he is desperate for money and this is how to get it. That computes nicely.

    V10 is another Fina Hoax. A convicted felon whose every account contradicted the last one. A silver convertible which JS never had, and a lunch date with Paterno and JS that never happened. Mother hen Dottie doesn't know who the hell this person is. I believe Dottie more than anyone in this case.

    V5's story changed more times than the diapers of a two year old with incontinence. His lawyer finally scripted a version where he was abused in the Lasch building during preseason practice, a provable lie since no unauthorized person would have been allowed near that place. Since the current AG put on the theatrics with V5 at the Spanier trial, It is prima facia evidence that Shapiro suborned perjury.

    1. Gregory,
      Thanks for your comments.

      Unfortunately, we'll have to agree to disagree.

      First, PSU officials were convicted of endangerment based on post-2001 crimes, including crimes occurring from 2005-2009. So if the Commonwealth can press charges and convict PSU officials on those crimes, they can do the same for TSM.

      Next, Jerry admitted to being in bed with Aaron Fisher (2005-2008)-- after he was accused of indecent assault. Other than Michael Jackson, I can't think of anyone who could be found innocent after making such an admission.

      Moreover, imagine if a wife questioned her husband about having an affair with another woman and the man's response was that he was in bed with the other woman, but nothing happened. There is no way the wife would buy that story. Similarly, the jury certainly couldn't get past that admission -- as well as other admissions by Jerry, in convicting him.

      Anyone who watched his Costas and Jo Becker interviews also would find it difficult to believe he is innocent. The jury watched the Costas interview.

      The enormity of data presented pointed to Jerry's guilt and the jury got most of the convictions correct --- except for Victim 10 (and they struggled with his allegations). However, I must point out that Victim 10's crimes were pre-2001 and that the civil claimant (D.F.) allegation's were MORE credible than V10's.

      I think you may be confusing Victim #4 with Victim #9. Victim 9 came about because of his school's assistant principal calling the hotline. Victim #4's father called him after reading Ganim's March column. Based on Sandusky's pattern of abuse, it is likely Victim #9 exaggerated what happened and was not forcibly anally raped by Sandusky. However, the rest of the crimes fit the pattern. What happened in 2011 isn't relevant to what happened in 2005-2009.

      I have written extensively about Victim 5, as you know, and agree that Shapiro, Ditka, and Schulte violated ethics rules by using him as a John Doe witness and claiming he was sexually assaulted. The jury did not find Jerry guilty of indecent assault in his case -- let alone sexual assault (which is legally defined as sexual intercourse in PA).

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting.

    2. I have to disagree with your statement that "Anyone who watched his Costas and Jo Becker interviews also would find it difficult to believe he is innocent."

      Human behavior is so variable is it impossible to know if someone is acting guilty, especially for a known oddball like Sandusky. There have been hundreds of proven, wrongful convictions.

      Cameron Todd Willingham was executed after being convicted of an arson that killed his 3 children. A major reason for his conviction was that he didn't act the way the jury thought a grieving father should act. Several top arson experts later confirmed that the fire was accidental and not arson.

      There have been highly publicized cases of the wrongfully accused, such as Richard Jewell. The FBI experts, including Freeh, thought he acted guilty but they were dead wrong. He was actually a hero who risked his life to evacuate the Olympic site before the bomb blast.

      With the prosecutor misconduct, judicial misconduct, coverups to protect Second Mile, CYS, DPW, OAG, PSU Trustees, etc. and the corrupting influence of tens of millions in settlements, I think there is loads of reasonable doubt as to Sandusky's guilt.

      Sandusky's victims all apparently had their own problems before they met Sandusky, which didn't all come out in court. Why was Victim 6 seeing a psychologist before Sandusky hugged him in the shower?

      After claiming sexual abuse at the hands of Sandusky, victim 1 became too emotionally close with a male track coach. That track coach had to be fired. Was the track coach another pedophile looking for a victim or did victim 1 seek inappropriate closeness with father figures?

      What about the fact that victim 1's uncle got a big settlement for child sexual abuse and his mother bragging that she would get a house out of her son's abuse?

    3. Tim,
      Thanks for your comments.

      I probably should not have said "anyone who watched the interviews" because there are a smattering of people who state that Jerry's inability to answer a rather simple, direct question was because of the "way he speaks." Unfortunately, for Jerry, the jury didn't know about his (alleged) mannerisms, and concluded that anyone who simply can't answer "no" to a question about being sexually attracted to children is guilty.

      That was the same conclusion drawn by Jessica Dershem of Clinton County CYS when Sandusky similarly didn't answer "no" to whether his hands were ever below Aaron Fisher's waistline.

      I find it rather troubling that you brought up that Sandusky's victims had problems before they met Jerry. For heaven's sake, he established a charity for "at risk" youth. As you should be aware, almost every victim in this case came from a single parent home. And, as you should be aware, many children do not respond well to divorces and often need counseling.

      I suggest you re-read the column about the track coach because you've characterized it incorrectly.

      I don't think settlements you refer to have a whit to do with Sandusky's lack of credibility. See my comments to Gregory below about Jerry's "Low T" and his sex drive.

    4. Ray - I think you are assuming facts not in evidence when you assume Sandusky's victims were just being counseled because of divorce. We don't know if all their mothers were even married to the boys' fathers or if they all knew their fathers. The 2011 NY Times profile on victim 1 stated "The boy appears to have never meaningfully known his father."

      Maybe some had been abused before Sandusky. The 1971 claimant said he had been sexually abused by a priest before he met Sandusky.

      I don't think I mischaracterized the track coach. He was warned not to get too close to victim 1 but he did anyway. He was dismissed after the school found out the coach had been sending victim 1 emails. The emails were "deemed a breach of the school’s rules on maintaining distance between coaches and student-athletes." Those emails were never made public as far as I know. After the coach was fired, victim 1 "confronted school administrators recently, angry about Hunter’s dismissal."


      The track coach seemed to be the source of significant parts of the NY Times story. They even had his photo. His claim that he didn't know victim 1 had alleged sexual abuse by Sandusky seems hard to believe given that Sandusky had been abruptly dismissed as volunteer football coach. He said he was told never to be alone with victim 1 yet never knew why.

  5. "The enormity of data presented pointed to Jerry's guilt and the jury got most of the convictions correct --- except for Victim 10 (and they struggled with his allegations)."

    Does that mean you think the jury got the Victim 8 convictions correct? That was case where there was no victim ever identified. no credible eye witness to the crime. no evidence a crime was committed. no contemporary report a crime had been committed nor a complaint of any kind. no date/time could be ascertained for the crime and no place of the crime could be ascertained from among three different possibilities offered. Do you think five convictions from that mess was the correct conclusion?

    1. mhentz,
      Thanks for the question....and it's a different animal, so to speak.

      First, as you should know, I was way ahead of everyone else on the janitor story and pointed out all of the flaws you mentioned.

      Next, Judge Cleland erred in allowing the lone testimony of Petrosky to be used as evidence by the jury. Also, Cleland erred by instructing the jury that they could consider the patterns of the other crimes to determine if Petrosky's story was credible.

      As defense attorney Rominger pointed out, that was wrong because Jerry hadn't been convicted of those crimes. Rominger further stated that if Sandusky was convicted of the other crimes, then the janitor incident could be brought forward in a separate case. Cleland didn't agree with Rominger, so the jury was allowed to use other shower room allegations to weigh the credibility of Petrosky.

      Finally, defense attorney Amendola did a poor job in attacking Petrosky's credibility, especially that he could only see the feet/legs of Sandusky and the victim even though there was NOTHING blocking his view. He did attack the credibility on the basis of the date of the incident, but Cleland took the wind out of that by telling the jury that he had no idea if the media guide showing the schedule was accurate.

      Those convictions are the fault of Cleland, not the jury.

    2. I think Cleland was in the prosecutor's pocket. A fair judge would have tossed the charges for the two unidentified victims because the lack of an identified victim alone is textbook reasonable doubt.

    3. Tim,
      I agree that Cleland was in on "The Second Mile protection plan" and ensuring the focus fell on PSU. Recall his conversation with Fina and McGettigan about possibly compromising the case against Curley and Schultz.

  6. Thanks for clearing that up, Ray. My opinion is that the janitor story is by far the most obvious of many examples of misconduct in the entire case and the most glaring evidence publicly available that PA's judicial system is crooked and rigged. Anyone who would support those five convictions deserves to live in the autocratic dictatorship they crave.

    1. mhentz,
      Again, that it was allowed to be presented is on Cleland. However, the appeal on the Victim 8 convictions by Amendola was pretty weak. At a minimum, Amendola should have complained about the crime scene change and the lack of the second corroborating witness.

  7. With all due respect, Ray, I beg to dissent.

    Your characterization of SM as a "victim factory" falls apart on close examination. The PA State Police interviewed over 300 SM men and found only the clients of (GASP!) Andrew Shubin and two Philly lawyers of very dubious repute (ie..FRAUD written all over their faces) to claim abuse, and this only after being cycled between a quack therapist, civil attorneys, and the OAG for years! This is CLASSIC brainwashing with millions of $$$ in incentives. I do not buy your narrative. This case needs to be properly investigated by an independent entity. I note that John Sneden is one of our former NCIS agents. He seems to have gotten it right.

    1. Gregory,
      Sorry for the late reply. I was on an extended fishing trip.

      The Pennsylvania State Police claim to have interviewed 300 Second Mile kids, however, they did not provide any documentation to support that claim. I have no idea if they interviewed 300 kids, but what is clear in the Moulton Report and in the trial testimony is that investigators had the name of Victim 9, his mother's name, and her phone number in July 2011. And they somehow didn't find him.

      Corporal Leiter told the mother of Victim 6, in early 2011, that the OAG only wanted to prosecute 40 counts, which they had after the first 7 victims testified to the grand jury. That suggests that a pro-forma investigation was conducted from June 2011 until November 2011.

      You're completely wrong about legal representation.
      Shubin and Justine Andronici teamed with Ross, Feller, and Casey to represent Victims 3, 7, and 10 plus Matt Sandusky and A.M. In summary THREE of the trial victims.

      Ben Androezzi, from Harrisburg, represented Victim 4. Tom Kline (Philadelphia) represented Victim 5. Howard Janet (Baltimore, MD) represented Victim 6.

      While not found by the police, Victim 9's attorney was Stephen Raynes and Aaron Fisher's attorney was Michael Boni.

      I agree with you that most of the civil attorneys involved put their client's financial interest over the truth and exaggerated what happened in many of the cases.

      As for Aaron Fisher, he admitted to being sexually abused the first time he was interviewed and did not require therapy (as alleged by many) to recall his abuse. The CY-48 form from January 2009 clearly denoted a sexual assault allegation.

      We also agree this case needs to be properly investigated by an outside authority. I believe that's what Mr. Snedden suggested.

  8. Was Micheal Jackson a pedophile? Only God knows. Many people are having second thoughts, thinking he was a naive dupe who loved children just like JS.

    I just finished re-reading the Pendergrast account of the V9 saga. It made me almost vomit. The total epitome of depraved human behavior. The bottom of the birdcage. The only person who abused V9 was V9.

    1. Gregory,
      I take it that being a "naive dupe" is now the "in vogue" defense for child molesters --- who seemingly don't know that crawling in bed with children is wrong.

      If you were on the other side of the situation -- your child claiming to be sexually abused and the "naive dupe" admitting to being in bed with your child -- I'm sure you'd see it differently.

      At Mr. Pendergrast's insistence, I read his book.

      I informed him that is was so full of errors and inconsistencies that to fix the book, a person would need to re-write the entire thing.

      For example, he spends an enormous amount of time discussing how Aaron Fisher went through therapy with Mike Gillum in order to recall his abuse. Completely untrue -- as I wrote in the comment above.

      He made quite a big deal out of the minor change in the testimony of Victim 7 -- that didn't result in additional charges or convictions for Sandusky. Victim 7 was the ninth prosecution witness -- by that point the jury's mind had been made up (according to the jurors) and his testimony had little to no impact.

      Mr. Pendergrast, who is a science writer, somehow couldn't figure out it was incongruent for Jerry to tell him he had Low "T" and that he wanted to use it in his defense, then tell him that he and Dottie were having sex 2-3 times a week up until his arrest.

      Did you miss that in the book?

    2. That doctors considered low T clinically significant is important in that androgen levels and ratios are important in brain development. In utero exposure to antibodies and other chemicals in the mother's blood also influence development of areas of the brain including the action of the CREB enzyme in forming neural networks. Just looking at the behavior patterns of JS and Micheal Jackson, they are more consistent with anomalous developmental neurochemistry (some call this "autism") than pedophilia. JS seemed to be frozen at age 16 and MJ at age 13. JS asking teenage boys to testify for him shows that he felt them to be peers. MJ seemed to consider his encounters as a normal middle school sleepovers.

      I agree that Pendergrast spent too much time on memory issues. I don't know of any street-wise kid who does not remember anything that can be used to his advantage or to stab someone in the back. It is more likely that their stories were scripted by civil attorneys and prosecutors. As Eshbach famously said, the prosecution of JS was delayed because they needed more time to "process" the witnesses.

      Pendergrast also neglected to mention that AF was addicted to pornography and would readily pleasure himself in front of his friend at sleepovers. Why was Gillam not treating him for this?

      As far as sex with Dottie, any urologist has an array of methods to allow you to have all the whoopie you want. Some urologists specialize in sexual disfunction and can do amazing things.

      If the OAG had such an airtight case, why did they have to resort to a fraudulent presentation, a hoax involving janitors, and drag a convicted felon and drug addict in to lie his ass off? I know they wanted to take down Spanier and Paterno, but V's 5-10 were un-needed and had absolutely no credibility, at least to a rational person.

  9. Ray,

    Have you looked at the numerous documents in the Curley-Schultz-Spanier case that were just unsealed a couple weeks ago? The news media made a big deal about the unsealing but I've seen no articles discussing what was in the unsealed documents that the public needed to know.

    1. Tim,
      I've not looked at the files. I've been enjoying retired life.