Wednesday, January 5, 2011

AUBurgeddon: Prosecutors expanding criminal probe beyond original 11 (UPDATED)

Scroll down for the latest.

Didn’t I tell you that this was much larger than just a stellar quarterback with a greedy father?

Didn’t I tell you that this was larger than even the indictment of 11 casino owners, lobbyists and legislators over a vote-buying scheme?

Of course I did, and depending on where your loyalties lie, you either believed me, or you didn’t.

From WSFA 12 News in Montgomery, via the Associated Press:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say in court papers that their gambling investigation in Alabama has grown beyond the legislators, lobbyists and casino owners who have already been indicted.

The disclosure comes in court papers involving notes from interviews the FBI did with Country Crossing casino lobbyist Jarrod Massey, who has pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors say they have provided other defendants with copies of the FBI's interview notes, with some material blacked out. They said the undisclosed material pertains to an ongoing criminal investigation involving facts beyond the scope of the indictment issued against 11 people in October.

Prosecutors say in the court papers that disclosure of the material at this time would risk exposing details of the investigation.

It remains to be seen what the expanded scope of the investigation entails. Could it ensare other political figures in the state? I’d bet my last VictoryLand chip that it will.

Could it also ensnare people not involved in the original “scope of the indictment issued” against the McGregor Eleven? People associated with a major university, located about 55 miles up I-85 from Goat Hill?

Of course.

Update: Here is a more detailed report than what appeared at the WAAY site. I found the highlighted quote rather interesting.

Coker's attorney said Wednesday the language in the court papers is not something the FBI routinely uses to try to keep notes private, and its presence is significant.

"There is definitely another investigation ongoing. What it entails I can't say," McKnight said.

Prosecutors have offered to give the complete notes to Coker's lawyer by Jan. 31 unless some reason arises to justify withholding the material. McKnight filed papers Wednesday saying he can agree to getting the notes no later than Jan. 31 "given the government's representation about the ongoing investigation."

Massey and Coker were among 11 people arrested Oct. 4 on an indictment accusing them of buying and selling votes on pro-gambling legislation. The remaining 10 defendants are scheduled for trial April 4.

Well, now.  Whatever investigation could that be?

Don’t forget to visit the Timeline page for the complete rundown of events.



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