United States v. Bryant, No. 09-3243 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The dean of a school gave the New Jersey State Senator a "low show" well-paid job in exchange for the senator's efforts as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee to obtain funding for the school. The senator also attempted to use a "no show" job as an attorney for county social services to increase his pension benefits. Both were convicted of honest services fraud (18 U.S.C. 1341, 1343 and 1346 and bribery in connection with a state agency that receives federal funds (18 U.S.C. 666(a)). The senator was also convicted of mail fraud (18 U.S.C. 1341) for the pension scheme. The senator was sentenced to 48 months and the dean to 18 months in prison. The court entered a joint restitution order for $113,187. The Third Circuit affirmed, finding sufficient evidence to support each conviction. The government's requests that grand jury witnesses voluntarily not disclose "any matters" that occurred during those proceedings did not interfere with defense access to witnesses so as to merit reversal. The court properly instructed the jury on honest services fraud or bribery, in light of the Skilling decision, and acted within its discretion in regard to testimony by the director of pension services.