Lycoming County Judge Marc F. Lovecchio recently sentenced a local attorney to probation for tampering with records.
Joseph F. Orso III, who unsuccessfully sought the nomination for county judge in the 2009 primary election, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of tampering with records and will serve six months' probation.
According to court records, Orso was charged in April 2010 with deceptive business practices, fraud to obtain assistance, providing false statements and tampering with records after underreporting his aunt's financial assets on a medical assistance application.
At the time Orso was serving as power of attorney for Barbara Orso and did not report $3,000 she had in a Janney Montgomery Scott account on the application for medical assistance.
In underreporting Barbara Orso's financial assets, Joseph Orso secured at least $3,000 in medical assistance benefits from the state.
The felony charges of deceptive business practices, fraud to obtain assistance and providing false statements were dismissed as part of a plea agreement between Orso and the state Attorney General's office.
Nils Fredriksen, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's office, said the office determined the plea agreement was the "most appropriate manner to handle this case."
As of press time, a call to Michael J. Rudinski, Joseph Orso's attorney, had not been returned.
Joseph Orso, who has no prior record of criminal offenses, also was placed on the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.
Often referred to as ARD, the program means once Joseph Orso completes his probation period and if he does not commit any new criminal offenses committing, he can petition the court to have the tampering with records offense expunged from his record.
In addition to probation, Joseph Orso, who continues practicing law with the law firm of Casale and Bonner, also must serve 50 hours' community service and make $200 in restitution.