Feds Indict Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Barbara Hafer

Hafer, treasurer from 1997 to 2005, is accused of lying to federal authorities and concealing $500,000 in payments from a businessman.

Pennsylvania Republican state Treasurer Barbara Hafer appears at a rally in the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002, in a sea of signs after endorsing Democrat Edward Rendell for governor of Pennsylvania. Photo | Paul Vathis, AP

Pennsylvania state Treasurer Barbara Hafer at a rally in the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002. Photo | Paul Vathis, AP

Federal authorities indicted former Pennsylvania state treasurer Barbara Hafer today, charging her with lying to federal agents and concealing half a million dollars.

Hafer served two terms as treasurer from 1997 to 2005; she was also auditor general from 1989 to 1997. She was a Republican until 2003, when she switched to the Democratic party. She was charged with two counts of making false statements to authorities and concealing $500,000 in payments from a businessman. The indictment did not identify that person, but the Inquirer reported it was Richard Ireland, one of Hafer’s biggest fundraisers.

Federal authorities said in a release they interviewed Hafer in May as part of an ongoing investigation. She allegedly lied about her financial relationship with a businessman (reportedly Ireland) in that interview, even when “shown a signed contract between Hafer & Associates, LLC, and a company owned by the business person.”

More info from the feds’ release:

The Hafer interview took place as part of an ongoing long-term FBI-IRS investigation of alleged pay-to-play activities involving the Pennsylvania State government. The investigation revealed that in February 2005, within weeks of leaving the Office of Treasurer, a firm associated with Person #1 began making payments to Hafer’s consulting firm. For a year, Hafer & Associates received $41,667 a month, totaling the $500,000 committed in the contract. Further, the investigation found that payments began before the contract was signed by the parties.

Although Hafer allegedly claimed that this business person did not help her consulting business, the investigation revealed that the money allegedly accounted for approximately 73% of the funds Hafer & Associates earned in 2005. According to the Indictment, Person #1 allegedly helped Hafer’s business by causing the $500,000 agreement to be entered into between Hafer & Associates and a company associated with Person #1 which did not require Hafer & Associates to achieve any particular result; before the Agreement was signed by all parties, Person #1 caused a company associated with Person #1 to pay the first of 12 monthly installments of $41,667 due pursuant to the Agreement; Person #1 caused the payment of approximately $500,000 to be made under the Agreement during the first year Hafer & Associates was in operation; and Person #1 caused an additional $175,000 to be paid to Hafer’s business during calendar years 2006 and 2007.

Ireland, of Valley Forge, was also indicted by federal authorities today.