Don Tollefson Trial on Hold Due to Health Scare

The fraud trial of former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson was halted today after Tollefson was taken to the hospital when his blood sugar spiked. Tollefson told the judge he has type 2 diabetes.

Tollefson told judge Rea Boylan of the issue during a recess, and offered to wait until lunch to go to the hospital. “Matt, Matt, I’m not making this up,” Tollefson said to Bucks County prosecutor Matt Weintraub.

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Villanova Art Curator Charged With Laundering Drug Money

The Justice Department has charged curator and Philadelphia gallery owner Nathan Isen with money laundering. The government contends the 61-year-old Isen, who’s best known for his expertise on the work of Louis Icart, sold 12 works of art for $20,000 cash — money he allegedly knew was earned from pot dealing. The longtime Villanova resident could get 20 years in prison if he’s convicted, in addition to three years probation and more than $250,000 in fines. He was nabbed in an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.

Isen’s gallery, I. Brewster & Co., has been in business for more than 30 years — first as a Center City walkup, and now as a 22-person concern in Fairmount. Isen has served as an appraiser and authenticator throughout his career, including for the notorious Khan brothers auctioneers. An employee at the gallery said Isen is on vacation in Florida and cannot be reached. The full text of the information is below.

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Don Tollefson’s Trial Does Not Appear to Be Going Well for Him

The Don Tollefson saga was supposed to be over. The former 6 ABC and Fox 29 sportscaster — known, even now, for calling pretty much everyone he has ever met a “good guy” — pleaded guilty in September to charges he defrauded about 200 sports fans out of almost $350,000 in phony ticket scams.

But then he abruptly withdrew his plea just before sentencing last month, saying that — after much thought — he’d decided to go to trial. And, despite being urged by a judge to get proper counsel, he decided to represent himself.

Tollefson’s trial began this week, and it’s about time to check in and see how it’s going. Opening statements were Tuesday.

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Teen Driver Charged in Death of Bensalem Girl

Police have filed charges against the driver of an SUV that hit a Bensalem High School girl and killed her. The victim, Minete Zeka, was just 16.

Authorities charged 18-year-old Michael Shelly with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, overtaking a school bus and related offenses. His arraignment was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, the Bensalem PD said in a Facebook post.

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Woman in “Basement of Horrors” Case Pleads Guilty

One woman in the “Basement of Horrors” case in Philadelphia has pleaded guilty.

Jean McIntosh entered a surprise guilty plea today. McIntosh is the daughter of Linda Ann Weston, who federal prosecutors say was the ringleader of a scam where they defrauded mentally disabled people of their Social Security benefits.

Four people were found locked in a basement in Tacony in October 2011. The federal goverment took over the case last year, saying Weston led a group that stole from the mentally disabled for 10 years starting in 2001. Prosecutors say two people died in their care.

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Don Tollefson Wants Free Attorney in Fraud Case

Don Tollefson — the former Philadelphia sportscaster who prosecutors say bilked sports fans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in sports ticket charity scams — is now looking for a free attorney.

Tollefson, who pleaded guilty in September only to withdraw his plea last week, appeared on North Broad Street yesterday to discuss the case.

He carried a Bible.

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Court Rules Law Firm Can Forgive 2007 Brady Legal Fees

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled Cozen O’Connor can forgive a 2007 loan made to Bob Brady. O’Connor worked to keep Brady on the ballot in the 2007 election after a challenge made by Tom Knox.

The Commonwealth Court ruled the money paid to O’Connor was money paid to influence the outcome of the election, and so it could only be legally forgiven in $10,000 annual installments. The Supreme Court agreed with O’Connor’s argument that the legal fees accrued fighting a ballot challenge was not money paid to influence the outcome of an election. An appeals court said this argument “invites the willful suspension of disbelief.”

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3 Ironworkers Union Members Plead Guilty

Ironworkers Local 401 head Joseph Dougherty is the only member of the union facing trial after three members agreed to plead guilty today in court.

Earlier this year, several Ironworkers union members were arrested and charged with participating in what a U.S. Attorney called “goon squads” that used vandalism to intimidate non-union work sites. This summer, more charges were added, and two more were indicted. Then came the guilty pleas. Eventually, eight of 12 pleaded guilty.

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Chaka Fattah Jr. Will Represent Himself at Tax Trial

Against the advice of a federal judge, Chaka Fattah Jr. will represent himself at a federal fraud and tax evasion trial next year. Judge Harvey Bartle III ruled today Fattah can represent himself.

The son of the longtime congressman says he differs with his former attorneys, as well as standby counsel, on his defense. “I think it is clear that — you heard the judge — my life is on the line here,” Fattah Jr. said. “Nobody is going to be able to make it for 418 years.” That’s how many years Fattah Jr. could be facing if he’s convicted of all counts. (Even if he is convicted of everything, here’s hoping he would not be not thrown in jail for life for tax fraud.)

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