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Family Court Lawyer Sentenced To Prison

WILKES-BARRE — A former family court lawyer in Lackawanna County was sentenced Wednesday morning in federal court in Wilkes-Barre.

Danielle Ross was sentenced to 12 months in prison and must pay restitution of about $63,000.

In December 2013, she pleaded guilty to attempted tax evasion.

The former family court lawyer from Lackawanna County who pleaded guilty to federal tax charges will now spend a year behind bars.

She was greeted at federal court in Wilkes-Barre by protesters.

Danielle Ross of Jermyn was a guardian ad litem – an attorney for family court – in Lackawanna County until last year. That’s when federal prosecutors filed tax charges against her.

She’s now going to prison and owes tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes.

Ross was hounded by protesters as she entered federal court.

According to court papers, Ross paid taxes on her base income as a Lackawanna County family court lawyer but did not pay taxes on the $202,000 she earned from extra billing hours.

As a family court lawyer, Ross was appointed to represent the best interest of children in custody cases.

At one point there was an investigation into possible corruption within Lackawanna County family court.

“What about the invasion of the lives that she’s impacted and destroyed during her conduct that she was in control of small children?” asked Joann Bender Hunting of Scranton.

Ross only faced the federal tax charges.  In court she told a judge she’s ashamed and regrets what she’s done.

Her lawyer says she’s studying to get her doctorate which will be on hold while she’s in prison.

“It is more than we were looking for, very disappointed. We thought the circumstances were appropriate for a much lesser sentence. I disagree but obviously respect Judge Caputo’s decision,” said David Solfanelli, attorney for Danielle Ross.

Ross is suspended from practicing law, but in court she and her attorney made it clear she wants to work as a lawyer again someday.

Despite the protesters, some people in court agree she should go back to work.

“I was hoping for home confinement today. Maybe they’ll do a motion for reconsideration because I think she’s really done a lot for conflict and divorce cases that have to do with child custody issues,” said Lee Morgan of Scranton.

Ross is free on bail.

She has until May 12 to surrender.

42 comments

  • Bruce

    Ross is a piece of crap and that is being kind. Not single handily she destroyed my family. Get it, hear it PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!!!!!! She never once apologized for what she did. I will do my best to see to it that she NEVER practices law again and never works with CHILDREN.

  • chwatchbird

    Hi Danielle Ross !! 5 more day until you go on vacation to Club Fed. Just think all of your so called pals will be free as birds while you set in prision. Never too late to save yourself!! you know what has to be done!! now get to it !

  • KM

    Happy Mother’s Day in jail Danielle, where you belong, for what you put my Grandaughter through, hope you rot!! Ever hear of BEST interest of a child, not merely a birth parents rights? Not to mention an incompetent, drug selling and using birth parent??

  • KM

    KIDS FOR KASH in our very own Lackawanna County Family Court system, and they think Ross is the only one involved, I doubt it!! Dig deeper, guarantee it is still going on!!

  • Bruce Levine

    PRISON FOR ATTORNEY AND GUARDIAN TO CHILDREN DANIELLE ROSS. They said she wouldn’t be tossed. They said she would never be sent to prison because of her friends and connections. POWER and GREED ruled.

    ATTENTION: We must listen to the cries of help from mommies, daddies and loving families. Stop Judicial Abuse and Wrongdoings Today.

    After dozens and dozens of attempts to get any media coverage on this topic over a period of 5+ years Lou Jasikoff had the Courage to Care. I brought the Custody for Cash story to his attention mid December 2013 only days after FELON Danielle Ross plead guilty in Federal Court. Independent Gazette ran with it. Anyone who cares about protecting children and fighting injustice needs to know what Lou and the Independent Gazette staff did. True leaders. Thank you!

  • Bruce Levine

    Bruce Levine was a victim as much as his children were! and they were all more of victim than the IRS and government which is what this case was ultimately about which is sad because this was more of a miscarriage of justice against the people than it was a tax fraud case!

    Ross was appointed to be the guardian of Levine’s two sons after a judge denied his request for a protection order against his ex-wife. Ross accused Levine of alienating the boys from their mother and recommended that he be limited to one hour per week of supervised visitation, a situation that lasted 14 months.

    Levine said Ross told him that, as guardian, she was “driving the bus” and would make life uncomfortable unless he did exactly as she said.

    At one meeting, Levine recalled, “Ross leaned into my face and said: ‘You need help. Unless you wrap your head around this, nothing is going to happen. I will take care of your boys. You take care of yourself.’”

    The boys’ mother later died of a suspected drug overdose.(Nice, drugs and they gave her custody?)

    Levine, who said Lackawanna County ignored his complaints about Ross, has since organized other parents who say they have been hurt by Ross and the guardian system. When they finally had a meeting with the powers that be, all they wanted to know was about the money, how much was paid, how much was spent, they wanted receipts, they went after her for what she did not pay the government. What she stole from the government. It’s pathetic that she stole so much more than Money from people!

  • cindy

    The entire court system in lackawanna is corrupt. You can bet ross had to kickbackto the judges in family court including Trish Corbett They all should be in jail what a bunch of scumbags

    • Charles Bombico

      you are spot on, she was a member of a tight little group including her lawyer of choice D.R. from Blakely a couple judges, a trerapist who has an office upstairs over a welding shop who stated it was okay for Jerry Sandusky to shower with the kids. These are the types of people deciding thew fate of children. On judgement day God will ask them all What have you done to my children??

  • Billl D

    Silenced by the court! I went through this too. What a joke! The best interest of the child is not what this is about! My ex wife and I were both put through hell by this system! After 8 months of this crap we were both exhausted because the guardian just played us against each other and used it to keep it going when we were both willing to agree many times and moths earlier! Pathetic!

    • Bruce Levine

      PRISON FOR ATTORNEY AND GUARDIAN TO CHILDREN DANIELLE ROSS. They said she wouldn’t be tossed. They said she would never be sent to prison because of her friends and connections. POWER and GREED ruled.

      ATTENTION: We must listen to the cries of help from mommies, daddies and loving families. Stop Judicial Abuse and Wrongdoings Today.

      After dozens and dozens of attempts to get any media coverage on this topic over a period of 5+ years Lou Jasikoff had the Courage to Care. I brought the Custody for Cash story to his attention mid December 2013 only days after FELON Danielle Ross plead guilty in Federal Court. Independent Gazette ran with it. Anyone who cares about protecting children and fighting injustice needs to know what Lou and the Independent Gazette staff did. True leaders. Thank you!

  • Billl D

    Bruce Levine was a victim as much as his children were! and they were all more of victim than the IRS and government which is what this case was ultimately about which is sad because this was more of a miscarriage of justice against the people than it was a tax fraud case!

    Ross was appointed to be the guardian of Levine’s two sons after a judge denied his request for a protection order against his ex-wife. Ross accused Levine of alienating the boys from their mother and recommended that he be limited to one hour per week of supervised visitation, a situation that lasted 14 months.

    Levine said Ross told him that, as guardian, she was “driving the bus” and would make life uncomfortable unless he did exactly as she said.

    At one meeting, Levine recalled, “Ross leaned into my face and said: ‘You need help. Unless you wrap your head around this, nothing is going to happen. I will take care of your boys. You take care of yourself.’”

    The boys’ mother later died of a suspected drug overdose.(Nice, drugs and they gave her custody?)

    Levine, who said Lackawanna County ignored his complaints about Ross, has since organized other parents who say they have been hurt by Ross and the guardian system. When they finally had a meeting with the powers that be, all they wanted to know was about the money, how much was paid, how much was spent, they wanted receipts, they went after her for what she did not pay the government. What she stole from the government. It’s pathetic that she stole so much more than Money from people!

    • truejustice999

      What a joke…. there is something seriously wrong with Bruce Levine… why do you think the Feds were at the sentencing yesterday? They were watching Bruce because he’s a ticking time bomb. They need to “dig up” the facts about his situation…..

      • JUSTICE SHALL PREVAIL

        JUSTICE FOR ALL. ROSS GETS LESS THAN WHAT SHE DESERVES ALONG WITH THE REST OF LACKAWANNA COUNTY. I AM HAVING A GOING AWAY PARTY IF ANYONE WANTS TO JOIN !!! BRUCE LEVINE GREEEAAATTT JOB ! AWESOME. THANK YOU FOR HELPING BRING HER TO JUSTICE. LOOKING FORWARD TO ASSISTING YOU IN THE FUTURE. ALSO A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR LOU FROM THE INDEPENDENCE GAZETTE FOR AMAZING EFFORT AND TIME TO HELP US EXPOSE THE CORRUPTION. TRUEJUSTICE999 DONT COME ON HERE COMPARING SITUATIONS. ROSS GOT WHAT WE ALL WANTED TO SEE HER GET, NOT HOMW CONFINEMENT, A PRISON TERM. EVERYONE HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY ((= I AM SO HAPPY….., BYE BYE DANNY, PUCKER UP AND KISS THIS !!!!!!!!!! YAYYYAYAYAYYYYAAAAAAA !!!!!!

    • Marc Evans

      Its pathetic that the mother high on bath salts with her two little children unbelted in the back seat gets the same amount of jail time as someone who commits tax fraud. And if anyone thinks that having Ross removed from this office has made it better, your sadly mistaken.

      This office continues to give abusive birth parents chance after chance to endanger their children. Giving birth does not make you a mother. For example, my ex gets arrested AND convicted of child endangerment but I have to pay and attend parenting class. Its the system, not the individual.

      • KM

        Let’s see how much changes in Family Court now that Ross is tossed?? Not saying she wasn’t a negligent GAL, just sayin that the whole system wreaks! More focus needs to be put on what’s in the CHILD’S BEST INTEREST, not merely the rights of BIRTH PARENTS!! Wake up Lacka. Family Court and start doing what is in the BEST INTEREST OF A CHILD, NOT MERELY WHAT RIGHTS A SO CALLED BIRTH PARENT SHOULD HAVE!! Look into each case more closely. Time will tell if the new GAL on the job is any better than the former one. I’m hoping so, but am starting to have my doubts, time will tell. We as Grandparents are once again being brought back to court by our Grandaughters Birth father, who once again is incarcerated! But suing us in family court, even though her is incarcerated, to force our Grandaughter to write to him more often, though she chooses not to at times. Also to force her to send him more letters, pictures, and so on. And this is actually acknowledged by the courts, and filed against us. One calls this justice. A father again sitting in jail, doing nothing to provide for his daughter another 3 yrs. on top of 5 yrs. previously. Hello, want to further your relationship with your daughter??? How about not going to jail, think that might help!!!
        And this kind of injustice goes on daily. Hard working caring people just trying to take care of a child, being taken to court, and trying to force a child to write letters more often!! Totally blows my mind!

  • Billl D

    She was so dam smug in the beginning, I’m glad they nailed her and for once the corrupt scumbags are getting real jail time and paying a huge fine for the dirt they do! They should have done this to Attorney Michael Marrazzo when he was a guardian and pulled the same thing! He went on to steal from clients and was allowed to quietly turn in his license to practice! No jail time, No fine, no prosecution at all! They disbarred him and there was barely a mention in the paper! Makes me sick!

  • cinhaefe@aol.com

    I cant believe some one actually stated thst they hope she goes back to practice the woman is a liar and a cheat and obviouslyh has no care for the people she was supposed to represent go back to wrk the woman should be disbarred

    • KM

      I think there are many more lawyers involved than have actually been exposed! Should have looked into the personal lawyers involved in all these cases! Many more people involved in this than is actually being exposed! They need to dig deeper now that Ross has been sentenced!

  • truejustice999

    At least WNEP had enough sense this time not to interview Bruce Levine…and just videotaped him acting like a complete madman. Is it really that much of a shock to people why he didn’t get custody of his children? Being such an angry and pathetic person also makes him lose credibility… It is so much easier for him to blame someone else for his “situation”, but the reality is, his instability and rage (which are clearly seen on the video) caused his children the greatest harm and the greatest loss.

  • Rebecca Jones

    Its a shame,! That this has to happen there are so many children who are in unsafe situationss and the courts are suppose to keep our children safe.Because of the courts.my grandchild is still living in an unsafe environment. May you rot in your jail cell!!!

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