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Lawyer plans to appeal Bradshaw conviction

September 07, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A post-trial motion to acquit retired West Virginia State Police Sgt. George William Bradshaw III of a mail fraud conviction last month was denied Wednesday by U.S. District Judge W. Craig Broadwater.

After hearing arguments by Bradshaw's attorney, B. Craig Manford, and rebuttal from assistant U.S. Attorney Paul T. Camilletti, Broadwater concluded that he was satisfied the government had met a "three element test" applied in the case.

"I'm not going to say this was a perfect prosecution," said Broadwater, adding the government's case against Bradshaw wasn't "textbook" and that it did have some "warts."

Manford said he intends to appeal his client's case to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., after Bradshaw is sentenced in November. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 27 at 2 p.m.

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Bradshaw could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined as much as $250,000.

Bradshaw was indicted in November on one count of mail fraud stemming from the discovery that money taken from alleged drug dealers and others arrested from 1999 to 2002 had disappeared while he was the Martinsburg detachment's commander and "evidence custodian."

"We have discovered seven additional cases since the indictment," Camilletti told Broadwater on Wednesday.

According to the indictment, an audit of the evidence room revealed that $18,542 was missing from 20 cases.

After hearing testimony from at least 16 current or former State Police officers and reviewing documents, a jury of eight women and four men apparently did not believe Bradshaw's testimony that he altered evidentiary records but did not steal the money.

Manford on Wednesday reiterated his trial arguments that the state treasurer's office unclaimed property forms that were mailed by Bradshaw and now are at the center of the government's fraud case were completed correctly.

Citing testimony given during the trial, Manford noted a key government witness' concession that just two of eight particular instances of missing money presented as part of Camilletti's case could qualify as unclaimed property. Manford also took aim at the other two remaining cases Wednesday.

Camilletti countered that the form's "truth or falsity" was irrelevant and the paperwork filed with the state treasurer "lulled" the office and Bradshaw's superiors into not looking for the missing money.

Broadwater said he was satisfied that the government had presented a case that showed the defendant devised a scheme to defraud the State Police, used the mail to further the scheme and that the actual mailing of the state treasurer's office forms was incidental to the scheme.

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