updated 8/24/2009 5:50:01 PM ET 2009-08-24T21:50:01

Two former Pennsylvania judges charged in the "kids for cash" corruption scandal have withdrawn their guilty pleas after a federal judge rejected their plea deal.

Former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan were charged in January with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to place youth offenders in privately owned detention centers. They agreed to plead guilty to fraud in a deal with prosecutors that called for sentences of more than seven years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik rejected the plea deals last month, ruling that the judges hadn't accepted responsibility for their actions. The judges withdrew their guilty pleas on Monday after Kosik rejected their bid to get him to reconsider.

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