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Criminal Procedure

3 lawyers facing theft and RICO cases over private investigation work for Glock get reprieve

Posted Feb 19, 2013 5:10 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Three lawyers facing criminal charges over $3 million in private investigation work they did for gun maker Glock Inc. got a reprieve Monday from the Georgia Supreme Court.

Suggesting the 4-year statute of limitations had run on theft and attempted theft charges against Jerry Chapman, former federal prosecutor Jim Harper and Jeffery Pombert before they were indicted in 2010, the state's top court told the Cobb County superior court judge who is presiding over the case to reconsider the validity of the charges, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

There is no time limit, under Georgia law, for bringing charges concerning theft from a victim who is 65 or older, however, and the government had contended that the victim in the case is company founder Gaston Glock, who is in his 80s. That was wrong, the supreme court said in its Monday opinion (PDF), pointing to the company and affiliated businesses as the entities that had suffered alleged losses.

The three attorneys were hired in 2000 to look into allegations of wrongdoing by high-level employees at the gun manufacturer's North American headquarters in Smyrna. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges, and defense counsel for Harper have contended the three did nothing wrong.

It appears that one count against all three defendants under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act could survive Monday's ruling, the newspaper says.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Ex-Prosecutor Accused in Alleged RICO Scheme to Bilk Corporate Client of $3M"

ABAJournal.com: "RICO Case Against Ex-Prosecutor Criminalizes $3M Glock Legal Fee Dispute, His Side Says"

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