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Supreme Court Ruling on “Honest Services Fraud” Law Could Harm Public Corruption Cases Including Ex-Gov Blagojevich’s

corp fraud
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court could throw some high profile cases into a tizzy including the one involving ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The court is scheduled to hear arguments in December on the validity of the “honest-services fraud” law which is frequently used in public corruption cases that involve public officials taking money or gifts or jobs for family members in instances where bribery is too tough to prove, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Opponents of the law say it is far too vague and Congress should go back and correct the flaws.

“In Chicago, this was our go-to statute. Every major public corruption case in the last 10 years relied heavily on an honest-services charge,” Patrick Collins, formerly a top anti-corruption prosecutor for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago told the Tribune.

Collins told the Trib that the Blagojevich set for June could be derailed “if the court were to gut the statute, the prosecution would have to think long and hard about how to restructure the case. (Honest-services fraud) is the core operating theory of the case.”

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