A federal judge in Washington this afternoon denied former Jack Abramoff associate Kevin Ring's demand for a new trial on charges that included paying an illegal gratuity and wire fraud.
The first trial in the Ring prosecution ended in a hung jury on all counts. The second trial was on hold until U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June, in Skilling v. United States, that narrowed the scope of honest services fraud prosecutions.
Ring’s lawyers at Miller & Chevalier in Washington argued in court papers filed in January that the government must demonstrate an explicit quid pro quo to prove honest services fraud. The lawyers were demanding acquittal or a new trial.
The defense attorneys also said the Skilling decision requires the participation of a public official in the scheme. The government’s evidence was insufficient to prove Ring participated in a conspiracy to pay bribes in exchange for official acts, Ring’s lawyers also said.
In her ruling, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said, among other things, that honest-services fraud requires prosecutors to prove participation in a scheme to defraud and that Ring participated in the scheme. The judge also dismissed defense claims of government misconduct.
Huvelle on Monday is scheduled to talk with Ring's lawyers and federal prosecutors to set a sentencing date.