Former State Senate Democrat leader Robert Mellow, of Lackawanna County, has been charged by the federal government with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and filing a false income tax return.  The 70 year old  Mellow was a member of the Pennsylvania Senate, Senate Democratic Leader and a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee and Caucus. He retired in 2010 after serving 10 terms.

The federal indictment charges that Mellow during his capacity as a State Senator and Democratic leader during 2006 through 2010. conspired with others to misuse the staff and resources of the Pennsylvania Senate for political fund raising and campaign purposes.  The indictiment also alleges that Mellow conspired with others to file a false individual federal income tax return for 2008.

Under a plea deal Mellow faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years probation. He also could be required to pay restitution. A federal judge must rule on whether to accept the plea bargain.