“This is round two of a prosecution that was fatally flawed from its inception.”
That’s the first line of a court document filed yesterday by former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s legal team, which went on to argue — over the course of a 26-page memorandum of law and various exhibits and court decisions — that felony fraud charges against him are unconstitutional and legally inept.
Bruno was found guilty of two charges of felony mail fraud in 2009 based on dealings he had with Albany-area businessman Jared Abbruzzese, including the sale of a “virtually worthless” horse for $80,000 that later went to a relative of Abbruzzese’s.
But the convictions were later dropped after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed part of the “honest services” statute that Bruno was found guilty of violating. An appeals court, however, ruled that Bruno can be re-tried on the charges if prosecutors can prove evidence of a “quid pro quo.”
The memo of law filed by Bruno’s legal team can be found below. Prosecutors have one month to respond to the request for dismissal.