Michael Conahan

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Michael T. Conahan
Born (1952-04-21) April 21, 1952 (age 64)
Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Occupation Judge
Criminal charge Money laundering, fraud and racketeering
Criminal penalty 17.5 years in prison
Criminal status Federal inmate #15009-067 Federal Correctional Institution, Coleman Low

Michael T. Conahan (born April 21, 1952) is a convicted felon and former judge from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania who was involved in the "Kids for cash" scandal in 2008[1] with fellow judge Mark Ciavarella. [2]

Conahan was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He received a law degree from Temple University. He served from 1994-2007 as Judge on the Court of Common Pleas. In January 2008 Conahan became president judge of Luzerne County.[3]

As president judge, Conahan used his budgetary discretion to stop funding the county public youth detention facility[4] and agreed to send teens instead to a new private facility. He is accused of agreeing to generate at least $1.3 million per year in costs that could be billed to taxpayers in exchange for kickbacks. He originally pleaded guilty to charges, but later withdrew his plea.[5] Afterward, he was indicted along with Ciavarella on charges of money laundering, fraud and racketeering.[6] He eventually plead guilty again, and on September 23, 2011, he was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison and ordered to pay $874,000 in restitution. [7]


  1. ^ Frank, Thomas (April 1, 2009). "Thomas Frank Says 'Kids for Cash' Incentivizes the Prison Industry". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Michael Conahan". mahalo.com. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Judge Mark Ciavarella and Judge Michael Conahan". People You'll See in Hell (Internet archive). Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ Janoski, Dave (August 24, 2009). "Ciavarella, Conahan withdraw guilty pleas". citizensvoice.com. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ "United States of America v Mark Ciavarella Jr and Michael Conahan". The United States Attorney's Office. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Former Luzerne judge Conahan sentenced to 17.5 years". thetimes-tribume.com. September 23, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.