Pennsylvania political insider charged with underreporting business and personal income

A childhood friend and business partner of Democratic State Rep. William F. Keller whose Philadelphia sporting goods shop sold campaign T-shirts, hats, and other products to local and national politicians was indicted Tuesday on federal charges that he underreported his business receipts and personal income by nearly $500,000 over four years.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia also charged Mark C. Olkowski of North Wildwood with 15 counts of wire fraud, saying he allegedly collected $25,000 in improper unemployment benefits while receiving income from K & O Sporting Goods in South Philadelphia.

Olkowski allegedly failed to report more than $250,000 in gross business receipts from K & O from 2006 through 2009. He underreported his personal income by more than $237,000, according to the indictment.

Olkowski, 62, could not be reached for comment. His partner in K & O is Keller, who also could not be reached. Keller's attorney has denied any wrongdoing by his client.

The charges against Olkowski are the second round of federal action following an August 2010 raid by the FBI and IRS on K & O, Keller's office, and the homes of Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew and Lorraine DiSpaldo, a Keller aide.

Last September, federal agents arrested Mulgrew and DiSpaldo on charges of wire and mail fraud, obstruction, and other counts stemming from their roles in two nonprofit groups. Mulgrew was later suspended as a Traffic Court judge, and the federal case is pending.

Among the politicians who ordered campaign paraphernalia from K & O were former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, former Mayor John F. Street, former Gov. Ed Rendell, and President Obama. Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and its business manager, John J. "Johnny Doc" Dougherty, have supported Keller and frequented K & O.


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