Ronald A. White, a politically connected bond attorney in Philadelphia who was facing multiple criminal charges in connection with a federal municipal corruption investigation, died Thursday night. According to published reports in the local media White had been suffering from cancer.
Edwin J. Jacobs, Jr., an Atlantic City lawyer who was defending White against the charges, Friday confirmed his client's death. Jacobs said White had been ill for some time and that he had not spoken to White in the last week because of his client's deteriorating condition. Jacobs said White had been active in planning his defense.
"Ron brought me in to try the case, not to make a deal and not to make any compromise," Jacobs said. "We were looking forward to the day we would come into a federal courtroom in Philadelphia and start to clear his name."
Pat Meehan, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, released a statement after learning of White's death.
"I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Ron White," Meehan said. "I am sure this is a very sad time for his family and friends. To them, we extend our sympathy."
It is not clear at this time how White's death will affect the case.
Federal prosecutors first filed charges against White, former Philadelphia city treasurer Corey Kemp, and others in June, including bankers from Commerce Bank and bond market professionals from J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. On Wednesday, prosecutors returned to court again and filed a superseding indictment against White, Kemp, and eight others.
The latest indictment included four new charges against White for making false statements to Commerce Bank officials in connection with a loan he was seeking to buy a home in Florida. White was already facing multiple charges including conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, extortion, and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Had he been found guilty of all charges and sentenced to the maximum, White would have faced a sentence of 710 years in prison.
The superseding indictment also included three new charges against Kemp for filing false tax returns for the years 2000, 2001, and 2003.