Jonathan Pinson Kickback Trial Delayed

Federal Kickback Trial for Jonathan Pinson and Associates Delayed Until June

kickbackThe federal kickback and corruption trial involving the former board chairman of South Carolina State University has been delayed until at least June of this year due to a document error.

Reportedly, several thousand pages of documents were not delivered to the defense. The trial has been pushed back to at least June 5th to allow defense attorneys to review the documents.

The federal kickback and corruption trial, involving allegations against Jonathan Pinson and associate Eric Robinson, had originally been scheduled to start on March 20th.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Thursday, March 6th, that the document error was simply a mistake, and not intentional. Pinson’s lead attorney agreed with the statement.

The Village at River’s Edge and Federal Kickback Charges

The November 7th’s indictment added charges related to the building of the Village at River’s Edge, a development handed to Pinson and his corporation The Village at River’s Edge LLC by former Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin, who was a partner and developer in the project before he was elected mayor.

In 2006, Benjamin reportedly helped Pinson create the limited liability corporation to build affordable housing in Columbia. Benjamin’s father, Sam, was also an investor in the project. However, in August 2009, Benjamin sold his and his father’s interest in the company back to Pinson for $492,500. Two days later, Benjamin ran for mayor.

Then, in 2010, the Columbia Housing Authority received a $10 million grant, and awarded $5.6 million to Village at River’s Edge to build 60 townhomes on the property. The indictment alleges that the $5.6 million grant was misuses by Pinson and associates throughout 2011, with an accusation that Pinson paid a kickback to a Columbia employee for facilitating the River’s Edge project in 2009.

The day before the new indictment, Wednesday, November 6th, three of Pinson’s former associates pleaded guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy charges in a federal court in Charleston, SC.

Federal Kickback Defense in South Carolina

Kickbacks refer to a form of negotiated bribery in which one returns part of the purchase price of an item to a buyer or buyer’s representative with the intent of inducing a purchase or improperly influencing purchases in the future.

Under federal law, kickbacks involving government officials or public funds provided by the government are illegal. Not all kickbacks are considered illegal, however. If a kickback does not specifically violate the federal or state law, the kickback may be considered normal, legal and tax deductible. Tax deductability is prohibited by an official, employee of the federal government or an official or employee of a foreign government.

If you or your company has been accused of kickbacks, or violation of federal kickback law, a South Carolina federal criminal defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm, LLC can help. With long standing experience with both state and federal cases, we know what it takes to aggressively defend you. Call a South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney at the Strom Law Firm today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.

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