- Main Justice - http://www.mainjustice.com -
No Convictions in Alabama Corruption Trial
Posted By David Baumann On August 12, 2011 @ 12:37 pm In News | Comments Disabled
Federal prosecutors failed to gain a single conviction in a high-profile Alabama corruption trial Thursday, as a jury contemplating the fate of a casino owner and former politicians acquitted some defendants on various charges and didn’t reach a verdict on others, the Associated Press reported.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson declared a mistrial on the undecided charges after the jury deliberated for 39 hours and couldn’t reach a verdict.
During the 10-week trial, the jury was attempting to determine whether, in 2010, VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor abandoned legitimate lobbying efforts and resorted to bribing state lawmakers in a bid to win support for a constitutional amendment that would have allowed electronic bingo machines in state casinos.
VictoryLand and other state casinos were forced to close by then-Gov. Bob Riley’s gambling task force, and prosecutors said McGregor, who owed about $200 million from the expansion of a casino facility in Shorter, Ala., couldn’t pass up the potential for millions of dollars generated by the machines.
But defense attorneys argued that prosecutors failed to tie the defendants to three others who pleaded guilty of offering lawmakers bribes. Ronnie Gilley, who owns another casino and testified for the prosecution after pleading guilty, identified McGregor as his partner in the illegal scheme to win influence in the Legislature. Two of Gilley’s lobbyists, Jarrod Massey and Jennifer Pouncy also pleaded guilty.
McGregor was acquitted of one count of bribery and two counts of honest services fraud. The jury failed to reach a verdict on his 14 other charges. On charges against other defendants, the jury either returned a not guilty verdict or failed to reach a verdict.
The AP reported that DOJ officials had not indicated whether they intend to re-try the defendants. “We appreciate the jury’s service in this important public corruption trial. Our prosecutors will discuss next steps as we move forward in this matter,” spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said in an email to the AP.
Article printed from Main Justice: http://www.mainjustice.com
URL to article: http://www.mainjustice.com/2011/08/12/no-convictions-in-alabama-corruption-trial/
Copyright © 2009-2012 WDC Media LLC. All rights reserved.