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Bruno to return to Albany for trial

By Justin Mason
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Federal prosecutors will get another crack at Joseph Bruno after the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that allowed them to bring a superseding indictment against the former state Senate majority leader.

The decision handed down this morning from the Second Circuit found that the government was able to charge Bruno with the same two counts of honest services mail fraud under a bribery and kickback theory. Bruno moved to dismiss the indictment on two separate double jeopardy grounds, but was denied at the district court level and again by the appeals justices.

The decision is available below.

In reaching their decision, the justices indicated they were unpersuaded by Bruno's assertion that federal prosecutors "abandoned" their quid pro quo theory during his original 2009 trial and that his acquittal on other charges reflected a finding by the jury that he did not scheme to defraud. Rather, they found the latest charges lodged by prosecutors to be based on new arguments stemming from Bruno's conviction, which was vacated by the higher court in 2010.

A full web update is available here HERE.

"While Bruno argues that the now-vacated convictions should be considered a non-event and the jury’s determinations on those counts should be ignored, there is no legal or factual support for this proposition," the court wrote in the three-page ruling.

In 2009, Bruno was found guilty by a jury trial on two charges of honest services fraud, on allegations he had undisclosed conflicts of interest while serving in the Senate, including accepting money from friends who had business pending before state government.

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Bruno ordered back to Albany for trial

 
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