Local Politics

Supreme Court ruling could free ex-lottery commissioner

Posted June 25, 2010

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— A federal judge has asked prosecutors for their take on whether former North Carolina lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings should be freed from prison following a ruling Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court curtailing the use of an anti-fraud law.

Geddings, 45, was convicted in October 2006 of five counts of mail fraud. Prosecutors said he defrauded the state of honest services in late 2005 by failing to disclose more than $250,000 in payments his public relations firm received from lottery systems maker, Scientific Games Corp., which was trying to win the contract to provide lottery equipment to North Carolina.

He was sentenced in 2007 to four years in prison and is scheduled to be released on Christmas Eve.

The Supreme Court voted 6-3 Thursday to keep the honest services law in force, even as justices joined unanimously in weakening it. The court said prosecutors could continue to seek honest services fraud convictions in cases where they put forward evidence that defendants accepted bribes or kickbacks.

"Geddings was not convicted under a bribe or kickback theory at trial. Rather, Geddings was convicted under the undisclosed-self-dealing theory that the Supreme Court expressly rejected," U.S. District Judge James Dever wrote in an order issued Thursday.

Dever gave prosecutors until Tuesday to file their arguments on whether Geddings should be released from prison or have his conviction thrown out altogether.

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  • Dr.Moufunchitz Jun 28, 2010

    "Matter of fact ought to add five years to Geddings' and Black's sentences for selling us the lie the lottery would fund education."

    Add Gov. Perdue to that list

  • djofraleigh Jun 25, 2010

    Technically, he thought he was OK, but morally, he was wrong. I don't care if they let him out or throw out the conviction as long as the state doesn't pay him for anything. Meanwhile, fire the prosecutor who mishandled the charges, and the judge who misapplied it. Someone has to pay on some part of the scales. Good intentions only apply to the governor breaking laws.

  • theradiator25 Jun 25, 2010

    He can get out early......as long as he serves a week in GP at Central Prison.

  • oldrwizr Jun 25, 2010

    So fraud's legal now? Sweeeeet!!

  • GWALLY Jun 25, 2010

    ...even more evidence of the "fox guarding the hen house" politics in North Carolina. These politicians are laughing at the tax payers EVERY DAY!!!!!

  • Dragons_lady Jun 25, 2010

    I am so sick and tired of hearing how these politicians are getting reduced sentences and such over CRIMES....when our loved ones have to stay behind bars and don't "second" chances like Geddings and such... ARGH!!!!

  • oleguy Jun 25, 2010

    I might just take up a life of crime, No wait I am not a Govt. employee or some one famous. They would throw the book at a good ole country boy like me.
    R elect NO ONe, Its time to take our country back, whats left of it,,, Or heres a thought Is it worth taking back.
    Maybe we should all just throw up our hands and quite, work, paying taxes, give them our houses and land and just set on our behinds with our hands out...

  • UNCfuturealumi Jun 25, 2010

    People in h--- wants ice water too.

  • Fishman Jun 25, 2010

    That huge wind you just felt was a sigh of relief from all the CEO's, bankers, fund managers and Wall Street fat cats. Now they don't have to worry about getting caught for all the dishonesty they have getting away with for years. I guess Bernie Madoff will be next to get out of jail free, after all he didn't bribe anyone he just failed to provide honest services.

  • lprop Jun 25, 2010

    when are we going to have a judicial system to uphold the laws instead of alwasy looking a loop hole to benefit a few?

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