July 27, 2020

West Chester Attorney Tom Bellwoar Successfully Defends Mariner 2 Security Chief

West Chester, PA: July 23, 2020 – West Chester attorney Tom Bellwoar (Luongo Bellwoar, LLP) teamed up with attorney Justin Danilewitz (Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr) to win the dismissal of nearly 60 counts of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, conspiracy to commit bribery, and conspiracy to violate the state’s Ethics Act against Frank Recknagel. Recknagel is the chief security officer for Mariner East 2 pipeline owned by Energy Transfer, the parent company of Sunoco Pipelines. After a five-and-a-half-hour preliminary hearing the Chester County District Justice John Bailey dismissed all of the charges stating there was not enough evidence to move ahead with the case.

Bellwoar was tapped by Saul Ewing to partner with Danilewitz because Bellwoar’s extensive litigation experience and broad knowledge of the West Chester legal community would give a clear advantage to the defense. Bellwoar and the defense team did an outstanding job according to Recknagel:

“Swish…nothing but net” for attorney Tom Bellwoar”. Tom was one of the attorneys recently that defended me in a case involving (7) felony offenses (59 counts) charged by the County’s District Attorney’s Office based on a political agenda against the company that I am employed by. Tom’s contributions to the legal team’s preparation and defense at the preliminary hearing was invaluable. Tom demonstrated a vigorous, yet poignant, pursuit for justice. The result ended with a Magisterial Judge dismissing all counts against me in the case. Tom, thank you for believing in my innocence and supporting me from our first introduction. I wish you and your team much success. I highly recommend Tom Bellwoar for any of your legal needs.”


As chief of security, it was Recknagle’s ultimate responsibility to provide security for the engineers, various pipeline workers as well as landowners against vandalism and sightseers trespassing in unsafe areas. He decided to hire local constables to help provide that security. Before doing so, in complete transparency, he consulted with Chief of Police Joseph Catov, as well as executives and lawyers with Energy Transfer.

“We presented the court with voluminous cataloging of all Frank’s communications with the police, his superiors at Energy Transfer and lawyers for the company. We also had provided all those documents to the DA’s office before they brought the charges.

“Frank is completely innocent. A 35-year security professional with no criminal history and no criminal intent who was completely transparent in his actions of hiring the constables,” said Bellwoar.

Due to the controversary about the pipeline and the potential political implications the story was covered in the Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY-FM, and the West Chester Daily Local News.

Luongo Bellwoar LLC

Award-winning West Chester attorneys Stan Luongo and Tom Bellwoar bring more than 60 years’ experience to the job of helping resolve criminal, bankruptcy, personal injury, and other legal matters. They practice in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Lancaster and Berks Counties and have conveniently located offices in West Chester PA. www.luongobellwoar.com  610-430-6630